The dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, with focus on India’s human rights violation, has featured prominently during the ongoing session of United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, Switzerland.
In his annual report to the HRC, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein regretted India’s denial of unconditional access in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK) to UN human rights investigators. In the same vein, Pakistan urged India to allow unfettered access to the UN investigators in IoK. India’s denial of access to the UN Fact Finding Team is a “desperate attempt” to hide its atrocities in IoK, which is “the most militarized zone of the world”.
Terming Indian illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir is the “root of the problem”, Pakistan demanded the United Nations to continue documenting human rights abuses by India in IoK. India must end its illegal occupation and resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with wishes of Kashmiri people as laid down in numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions. Referring to the recent killing of six innocent civilians in Shopian district, the Pakistani delegation drew attention of the HRC on India’s crimes against humanity including extra judicial murder of more than 100,000 Kashmiris and molestation of around 8,000 women by Indian Occupation forces. Kashmiri freedom movement cannot be labelled as terrorism. India’s illegal occupation, massive human rights abuses, extra-judicial executions and economic exploitation of the territory continue to stir the Kashmiri freedom movement. Pakistan would continue to give its moral and political support to the oppressed people of the IoK in realization of their inalienable right to self determination.
The Indian delegation responded with its maligning campaign against Pakistan to divert attention of the HRC from genuine human rights concern of people of IoK. Pakistan forcefully countered Indian propaganda and noted that atrocities in IoK were also encouraged by the policies of assertive religious nationalism pursued by the Hindutva ideologues. Such policies in India have led to persecution of minorities, civil society, journalists and scheduled tribes with official patronage. More than 50 incidents of lynching of Muslims by cow vigilantes had been reported. The capturing of Indian Naval Commander KulbushanYadev was the proof of Indian policy of fuelling cross border terrorism in Pakistan.
The report of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights had also noted with concern that discrimination and violence directed at Muslims is on rise in India. In some cases, this injustice appears actively endorsed by local or religious officials. Expressing concerns on freedom of speech in India, the UN High Commissioner noted in his report that often criticism of the government is met with the claims that it constitutes a sedition or threat to national security.
March 11, 2018