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India scoffs off UN Human Rights report

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New Delhi/Geneva: After 30 long years of research and documentation, the United Nations Human Rights Commission released it’s 49-page report on Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, which looks completely biased and one sided. Not only the report takes a one-sided approach, it also supports Pakistan’s claims that Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan belongs to them.

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The report stated that post Hizbul Mujahideen’s militant Burhan Wani’s encounter by the Indian security forces in the ‘India Administered Kashmir’ (IAK) in 2016, large and unprecedented demonstrations had erupted and continued to remain till April 2018.

Citing the civil societies estimates, the UN report even claimed that due to the use of excessive force by the Indian security forces in the IAK, close to 145 civilians lost their lives between mid-July 2016 and the end of March 2018, with 20 others killed in the same period.

Blaming the Armed Forces (Jammu And Kashmir) Special Powers Act – 1990 (AFSPA) and Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act – 1978 (PSA), the UN report stated that Indian security forces had used pellet-firing shortgun to take control on IAK. These shortguns have killed 17 people between July 2017 to August 2017 and around 6,221 were injured – partially or completely blind – by metal pellets between 2017 to march 2017.

India’s Response

Responding back to the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Indian official spokesperson for foreign affairs, Raveesh Kumar rejected the report – The Human Rights situation in Kashmir – terming it as ‘fallacious, tendentious and motivated’. He also said that this report violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Kumar said, “India rejects the report. It is fallacious, tendentious and motivated. We question the intent in bringing out such a report. It is a selective compilation of largely unverified information. It is overtly prejudiced and seeks to build a false narrative. The report violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Stating clearly the entire Jammu and Kashmir belongs to India, Kumar even questioned the entities Pakistan claims as “Azad Jammu and Kashmir” and “Gilgit-Baltistan.” The youngest MEA spokesperson said, “Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state through aggression. We have repeatedly called upon Pakistan to vacate the occupied territories. The incorrect description of Indian territory in the report is mischievous, misleading and unacceptable. There are no entities such as ‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir’ and ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’.”

Interference History

With this report in the public domain and Pakistan enjoying the limelight, this is not the first time UN has been trying to get into the scene. Previously too in 2016, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein had asked for unfettered and unconditional access to both Indian and Pakistan’s Administered Jammu and Kashmir in order to enable the UN agencies to monitor the human rights situation independently and impartially.

Though Pakistan had agreed to their terms, provided India agrees, the Indian government had been on the denial mode giving access to any third party, entering the valley.

Similarly, on September 30, 2016 condemning the attack on Indian security forces at the Uri sector of the Indian-Administered Kashmir , UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called “both the government of Pakistan and India to address their outstanding issues, including regarding Kashmir, peacefully through diplomacy and dialogue.”

This time Hussein’s recommendations include that “India should urgently repeal the AFSPA; establish independent, impartial and credible investigations to probe all civilian killings since July 2016 and all abuses committed by armed groups; and provide reparations and rehabilitation to all injured individuals and to the families of those killed in the context of security operations.”

Besides this, released report also “calls on India and Pakistan to fully respect their international human rights law obligations in Indian-Administered and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir respectively.”

What Next on Table?

As the Indian government is unhappy with the report published by the United Nations, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar has responded back fiercefully on the matter of Pakistan and terrorism, calling it a malicious approach. He stated “Such malicious reports cannot undermine the will of the people and the Government of India to take all measures necessary to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country from cross border terrorism.”

With the report published, making the Indian government concerned over UN’s approach, the relations with Pakistan might deteriorate in the times to come. Multiple ceasefire violations, killings of Indian soldiers and instigating the stone pelters of the valley by Pakistan, has not only irritated the Narendra Modi government, but has made the entire nation angry. Looks like the report should not have come.

Photo Credit: www.time.com

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