Russia-Ukraine conflict: Why did India and Pakistan refrain from being part of UN resolution against Russia?
The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution against the Russian invasion of Ukraine by 141 votes. Five votes were cast against the resolution, but 35 countries did not participate in the vote, including India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan have so far been stepping up their efforts on the Ukraine conflict, and the recent vote at the UN General Assembly reflects this.
It may be recalled that 141 member countries of the General Assembly have voted in favor of this resolution, five votes were cast against it while 35 countries abstained.
Prior to the vote, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Sergei Kaslitsia, had said that “Russia has taken away Ukraine’s right to be present.”
On the occasion, Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia said that Russia wants to resolve the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine. He accused the West of making “open and vicious threats” to force the world to vote in favor of the resolution.
This was the first emergency meeting of the Assembly since 1997. The resolution condemned the Russian attack and called on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
What do Pakistan and India have to say?
Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, told a special emergency session of the UN General Assembly that Pakistan believes in the basic tenets of the UN Charter, including the right of the people to vote and the absence of power. It includes the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and the peaceful resolution of specific disputes.
Munir Akram also termed the recent incidents as “a sign of failure of diplomacy” and said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had expressed hope that diplomacy could avert military conflict.
He further said that Pakistan hoped that the talks initiated between the representatives of Russia and Ukraine would succeed in ending the fighting and normalizing the situation as a diplomatic solution was “inevitable”.
Similarly, TS Trimurti, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, after India’s abstention from voting, said that India’s first priority was to evacuate its citizens, especially students, stranded in Ukraine. He called for an immediate ceasefire in the war-torn region and said that relief operations should not stop there.
India, like Pakistan, expressed hope that the second round of talks between Russia and Ukraine would prove fruitful.
Earlier, India had not even taken part in the Security Council vote on the resolution condemning Russia.
So now India and Pakistan also seem to be standing in line on the issue of Ukraine.
Why does Pakistan want to remain neutral?
Nineteen of the foreign missions in Pakistan had written a letter to Pakistan before the start of the General Assembly urging Pakistan to support Ukraine at the United Nations.
But on the same day, credible reports were received from the highest governmental circles that Pakistan would not be a part of this voting. At least two senior government officials told the BBC that Pakistan wanted to support or oppose anyone, taking a principled stand.
The top government officials said that Russia and Ukraine should resolve their issues amicably.
often people are welcoming Pakistan’s decision that according to in the past, Pakistan is not becoming part of any political faction but is urging to resolve issues through understanding.
It is a shocking act on the part of the Pakistan government to do so because before that Pakistan with the political factions in the region while the direct effect of their support came in the form of insurgency in Pakistan country and economy As a result, Pakistan at one time was in danger of being isolated internationally.
Two days ago, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, chairman of the Pakistan Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the BBC: “Pakistan has no direct interest in this war. Secondly, Pakistan wants to play its part in the region in which Pakistan also has relations with Russia, China, and Central Asia. And more, Pakistan does not want to be part of any tension. He does not want to support or oppose anyone. ”
Mushahid Hussain said that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia is part of the Cold War in Europe which is going on in Ukraine.
There are no good memories of Pakistan associated with the term Cold War. In the Cold War between the United States and Russia, which lasted from the 1940s until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Pakistan preferred to be part of the US camp, while India always maintained its neutrality.
Pakistan also participated in the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in an unconventional way, and thus relations between Pakistan and the Soviet Union, and later with Russia, were severely strained. As a result of this war, Pakistan faced many financial, economic, social, and security challenges, some of which are still ongoing.
So now many people are appreciating Pakistan’s decision to remain neutral. Mushahid Hussain Syed said that Pakistan has no direct interest in this war and Pakistan does not want to be a part of this tension.
The complex situation for India
On the one hand, tensions are rising between the world powers in the Pacific region bordering India and China, and there is a four-nation alliance, the Quad (US, Japan, India, and Australia). The alliance of the surrounding countries is a matter of concern for NATO Russia.
But Indian Foreign Minister SJ Shankar has recently said that the situation in the Pacific and the Atlantic is not the same.
India also needs the support of the West, especially the United States, in its border dispute with China, but it is also a major arms buyer from Russia.
And it is clear that the reason for any arms purchase by India is China and Pakistan. The same is true of India in Pakistan and China.
Significantly, the United States has passed sanctions on countries that buy arms systems from Russia, but despite India’s purchase of Russia’s S400 missile system, India has so far escaped US sanctions.
Therefore, India is also moving diplomatically on a tightrope in which it has to maintain a balance between its diplomatic relations with various world powers and a superpower so that its interests continue to be served in both the major regions. Some experts say that India-US relations will not be affected in the long run.
Former Indian diplomat Amrindar Khatwa had told BBC Monitoring that there could be some challenges in arms imports but India and the US could not be far apart, especially as China seeks to step into the Indo-Pacific. Have been.
As a result, two neighboring countries, India and Pakistan, which have so far fought four wars and been embroiled in a series of armed conflicts, seem to be reluctant to take the lead in this new globalization in their own interests.