Several social media users shared an October 29 article published by a website called Latest Laws (archived link). As per the article, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was removed from the United Nations (UN) list of “unresolved disputes”. Further, it attributed a quote to Pakistan’s acting envoy to the UN Amjad Hussain B Sial. This article has been shared widely on Twitter. The claim is circulating on Twitter independently as well.
BJP supporter Gaurav Pradhan and Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal (tweet deleted, view archived link) posted the said claim. Rawal tweeted, “Because of @narendramod…Jammu & Kashmir has been removed from the United Nations list of unresolved disputes, in a setback to Pakistan which has been asking the U.N. to intervene on the issue.” Alt News has documented multiple instances of misinformation put out by both Pradhan and Rawal.
Decade-old news revived as recent
Alt News couldn’t find a ‘list of unresolved disputes’ on the UN’s official website. Nonetheless, the claim was reported by multiple media organisations including The Hindu, NDTV and The Economic Times. A well-informed source at the UN confirmed that the headline of these reports is “false” and explained elaborately the issue at hand. We will establish the following in this fact-check —
- Viral article is a decade old
- Media misreported 2010 General Assembly session
Viral article is a decade old
After a keyword search, we found that The Hindu (archive link), NDTV (archive link) and The Economic Times (archive link) published an article with the headline ‘Jammu and Kashmir removed from the list of disputes under UN’. These reports are syndicated copies of Press Trust of India’s report of a General Assembly session in 2010.
We compared Latest Laws article with The Hindu and found that it is 94% identical.
Media misreported 2010 General Assembly session
Barring the style guide differences, the 2010 articles by The Hindu and ET are identical. While the NDTV report is longer, it includes a quote by the United Kingdom envoy to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant.
Grant said, “Some long-running situations, including in the Middle East, Cyprus and Western Sahara remain unresolved, as do issues where the Council has become engaged in recent years, including Nepal and Guinea Bissau” at the General Assembly in 2010.
After Grant’s address Amjad Hussain B Sial, Pakistan’s acting envoy to the UN in 2010, responded, “Jammu and Kashmir dispute was not mentioned in the context of unresolved long-running situations.” This quote is one possible reason why the headline reads ‘Kashmir issue removed from the list of disputes under UN’. The most elaborate article on the 2010 General Assembly session we found was by The Indian Express (archive link) with the same headline.
“The context of the article is the annual meeting when the report of the Security Council is presented to the General Assembly. The UK’s envoy was President of the Council for that month, he made the opening remarks in which he listed out a few unresolved issues. Pakistan took umbrage at him for not mentioning J&K in his list,” said the well-informed source at the UN.
Alt News found United Nation’s press release dated November 11, 2010, on the sixty-fifth General Assembly Plenary 48th & 49th meetings in 2010 which includes Grant’s full address. India was represented by MP Bhubaneshwar Kalita. The UN document addressed Grant as President of the security council, a position which is rotated each month, as explained by the expert. The meeting was a two-day event, Pakistan’s envoy Sial’s inputs are documented in a press release on November 12, 2010. None of the documents mention “list of disputes under UN” as reported by Indian media.
“However, the point is Jammu & Kashmir has never been an item on the agenda of the Security Council. It has always been “India-Pakistan question”. Further, since the last formal meeting of the Council on this agenda item also took place in November 1965, even this is listed in a separate category by the Secretary-General in his regular report on the list of items seized by the Council. The India/Pakistan question is listed in a separate category of items which have not been considered in the last 3 years (view link),” the source added. As per this document, latest entry related to India dates back to 1971 — “The situation in the India/Pakistan subcontinent”. This was the year India-Pakistan engaged in a war which led to the liberation of East Pakistan in 1971 and the birth of Bangladesh.
“This list is understood to be an arrangement where the Council distinguishes between those items that are active and those that are virtually dead for practical purposes. It may be recalled that the only reason why this item continues to be listed even in this list is that Pakistan writes a letter each January asking for its retention. It is pertinent to note that as per UN rules of procedure, such a letter from just one country is enough to keep the matter(s) retained,” the source furthered.
A press note about a session in the 2010 General Assembly was published by media organisations with a misleading headline — ‘Kashmir issue removed from the list of disputes under UN’. This claim was recently published by a website called Latest Laws and on social media. As per our well-informed source at the UN, there was no ‘list of disputes’ at the international body.
India’s stand on J&K
As per a document by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Kashmir, the accession of J&K to India was completed on October 26, 1947. In October, TS Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, told The Print that the UN is not the forum to discuss Kashmir even as Pakistan, with the support of China, has been raking up the issue since the scrapping of Article 370.