By Arun Joshi
The election of Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid as president of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday is a big relief for India in the international forum as the outgoing UNGA president Volkan Bozkir was an India-basher on Kashmir .
Volkan Bozkir , who had taken over as the UNGA president last year to preside over the 75th session of the General Assembly , was a pro-Pakistan voice on Kashmir , and he made no bones about it. He made an all-out effort to instigate Pakistan to raise Kashmir issue at the international forums, particularly at the UN with greater force as recently as last month .
On May 27 while addressing a joint press conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Pakistani capital Islamabad, Bozkir had said: “ I think it is the duty , especially Pakistan ‘s to bring this ( Kashmir issue) to the United nations platform more vigorously “ as he agreed with his hosts that “ the Palestinian issue and the Kashmir issue were of the same age.”
This press conference was held within a week after the Israel and Palestinians had entered into a ceasefire agreement ending their 11-day long war that had started with the clashes at Sheikh Jabbar in east Jerusalem . The Islamic world had termed Israel as an aggressor .
Bozkir knew the nuances of what he was saying by putting by determining the age of the Palestine conflict and Kashmir issue . What he wanted was also clear when he said that “there was a lack of large political will for the resolution of the Kashmir issue compared to the Palestinian issue which had more will behind it”
Now with Abdullah Shahid, a friend of India , to take over as the UNGA president , India would not have to face unpleasant remarks like that of Bozkir. That means a lot in the diplomatic terms. As the outgoing UNGA president’s words on Kashmir will get into record with which his profile would be read by the researchers and others . Pakistan , as such, would always seek legitimacy of its stand on Kashmir using Bozkir’s words .
With Maldivian Foreign Minister all set to take over the new UNGA president , India can hope that the things will not be as hostile to it on Kashmir as those were under Bozkir, who did not leave it to the imagination of anyone as to how he perceives Kashmir and how he would like the issue to be projected as an unresolved dispute at the UN platform. Turkey and Pakistan were on the same page when India scrapped Article 370 , doing away with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir . Turkey and Malaysia were the only countries that supported Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir . But that was different from what Bozkir had done and said as UNGA president.
About the Author:
Arun Joshi is a senior journalist based in J&K. He has worked with Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express and The Tribune.
He has authored “ Eyewitness Kashmir: Teetering on Nuclear War” and three other books.
This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com