After stating the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)'s official statement on the Jammu-Kashmir issue, terming it a bilateral issue and expressing satisfaction in India's efforts, India's UN representative Syed Akbaruddin on Friday took questions of the international media.
While he initially started nervously stating, "I am ready if any of you are willing to ask any questions. This is my first time, so please cut me some slack," he immediately moved on to make several bold and witty statement.
At the beginning of the Q&A session, while journalists were clamouring to ask questions, he assured saying:
"Relax, I will answer five questions - which is five times more than my last two predecessors, who came here."
When a Pakistani journalist questioned about Jammu-Kashmir being an internal matter to India, Akbaruddin immediately quipped:
"Thank you for accepting that. Where is article 30 enshrined? In the Constitution of? India. Thank you."
After taking questions from three Pakistani journalists, he reiterated the fact saying:
"So that you will not have any doubts, that I have answered three Pakistani questions."
When asked when will you start a dialogue with Pakistan? he said," Let me begin by coming across to you and shaking your hand."
He then proceeded to go across the room to shake the journalist's hand.
When asked about the way forward as most global powers have stated that Jammu-Kashmir is a bilateral issue he said:
"It is now for Pakistan to stop terror and start talks."
When asked about the restrictions on the ground put in place in Jammu-Kashmir prior to the abrogation of article 370, he said:
"Prevention is better than cure. Our measures were to stop terrorists from bleeding our people. There are no fatalities in the last 10 days."
When asked about the timeline for removal of restrictions on the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he said:
"While we accept that there are several restrictions on the ground, the decision to remove that has to be done by the administration on the ground, not by diplomats here or journalists. Allow them space and time to address the issue."