We thank the High Commissioner for his update.
The High Commissioner’s concern on the dire situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is absolutely justified. The High Commissioner is equally justified in demanding immediate access to Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Let me state unequivocally that Pakistan has not denied “access” to OHCHR to Azad Jammu and Kashmir. In a letter addressed to the High Commissioner in August 2016, Pakistan has expressed its readiness for the visit of any UN team sent by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Azad Jammu Kashmir together with the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, even though there is no comparison whatsoever between the situation in AJK and the gross, systematic and wide-spread human rights violations committed with impunity by 7,00,000 Indian Occupation Forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir. It is India, which has blatantly refused to provide access to OHCHR’s fact finding team to Indian Occupied Kashmir in a desperate attempt to hide atrocities committed in one of the most militarized zone of the world.
We welcome the High Commissioner’s commitment that in areas like Indian Occupied Kashmir where OHCHR has received “indications of severe violations, and where access continues to be refused,” his Office has begun remote “monitoring” report of which he intends to make public he will “report on this further in June.”
However, this can only be a partial measure. We would hence, once again, urge India to respond to request of the High Commissioner and provide access to OHCHR’s team to Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
We also expect that the international community would call upon India to end its persistent, systematic human rights violations, and address the internationally recognized Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiri people and UNSC resolutions.
In the words of the High Commissioner, “without access, we can only fear the worst”. The worst is already happening to the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir. A new brutality has been unleashed by the Indian forces to crush the struggle of the Kashmiri people for the exercise of their right to self determination, a right endorsed by a number of UN resolutions.
I thank you.