Word For Peace
By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi,
NEW DELHI: A furious India today described as “fallacious, tendentious and motivated” a UN report that tears into both India and Pakistan for human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. In the report, the UN body has laid out recommendations for both countries and very controversially asked India to “respect the self-determination of the people of Kashmir”.
The UN human rights body chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has called for an investigation into “all civilian killings since July 2016” and also into “the excessive use of force by security forces including serious injuries caused by the use of pellet guns immediately.”
The report says India must stop using pellet guns for crowd control and urgently stop using pellet guns for crowd control.
“It is a selective compilation of largely unverified information. The report violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said the foreign ministry.
The 49-page report is the first of its kind on Kashmir.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he would urge the Human Rights Council, which opens a new session next week, “to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir.”
A Commission of Inquiry is one of the UN’s highest-level probes, generally reserved for situations like the conflict in Syria.
The findings come after months of clashes along the Line of Control and repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
The report said the UN body chief met with representatives of both governments following an upsurge of violence in July 2016 after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani by security forces.
On territory under Pakistan’s control, the UN report identifies “a range of human rights abuses,” but notes they “are of a different calibre or magnitude and of a more structural nature.”
The rights office also says restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly make it difficult to get information about conditions in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan should “end the misuse of anti-terror legislation to persecute those engaging in peaceful political and civil activities and those who express dissent,” the UN report says.
The Congress backed the government and expressed its “disregard and condemnation” of the report. “We feel that UN has drafted the report without visiting Jammu and Kashmir. The Congress supports the government’s stand,” said the party.The PDP of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, which co-governs Jammu and Kashmir with the BJP, that there should be bilateral talks between the two countries.