India voted against a Guantanamo UN resolution in 2005 in what appeared to be an attempt to impress the US, according to a US diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks today.
The Cuba-sponsored UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) resolution requested the US to authorize an independent fact-finding mission into the situation of detainees in Guantanamo.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Joint Secretary S. Jaishankar called the US on April 25th, 2005, four days after the vote, to make sure the US had noticed India’s “no” vote on the resolution, US diplomat Robert O. Blake Jr, author of the cable, wrote.
Jaishankar argued that by going against the resolution, India associated itself with a group composed mainly of NATO allies and other close partners like Japan and Australia, unlike other South Asian countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka that had abstained. It would have been easier for India to have abstained, the cable noted.
The vote was a "positive gesture" by India, and it was "made easier by the fact that India could invoke its policy of generally opposing country-specific UNHRC resolutions," the cable noted.
Furthermore, the vote also reflected India’s “firm line” on “global war on terror issues,” and suggested the US “may be getting through with [its] reminders to the GOI [Government of India] that countries aspiring to UNSC [UN Security Council] permanent membership need to step up to the plate occasionally,” the cable read.
The resolution failed with 22 votes against, 8 in favour (China, Cuba, Guatemala, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, Sudan, and Zimbabwe), and 23 abstentions.
The cable was created April 25th, 2005.