Pakistan calls on the UN Security Council . . .
In a letter to the United Nations, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quereshi has asked the UN Security Council to meet and discuss the crisis, saying it “willfully undermines the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir,” and that the UN has an obligation to act. The Security Council has adopted several resolutions in the past over the contested region, calling for both sides to refrain from aggravating the situation. It is unclear at this point if the Security Council will respond to Pakistan’s request, as both the Council President and the UN Secretary General have so far remained evasive in their statements.
Canada’s muted response . . .
On Tuesday, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland released a somewhat timid 81-word statement expressing Canada’s concerns over the “risk of escalation, infringements on civil rights and reports of detentions” and encouraging meaningful discussion and consultation. Global Affairs Canada has issued a travel advisory cautioning Canadians against travel to the contested region and advising the 12 registered Canadians currently in the area to follow local authorities' instructions. One Kashmiri-Canadian interviewed welcomed Canada’s statement but was disappointed by its hollowness, hoping for more forceful condemnations of ethnic and religious discrimination in the contested area.
Difficult media situation . . .
Since India’s August 5 move to shut down communications in Kashmir, it has been extremely hard for the world to accurately follow the unfolding situation. Confusion largely dominates in the social media sphere as well, with 'fake news' in abundance. As long as communications remain shut down and restrictions on movement remain in place, it will be hard to get an accurate depiction of events on the ground, leaving room for India to take a leading hand in shaping the new Kashmir narrative.