Pakistan responds to UNHRC on Kashmir: ‘We are ready to give access to your team to visit PaK but…’

Srinagar: Pakistan on Thursday responded to the allegations made by the United Nations Human Rights Council chief that it was not giving access to a UN rights team to visit Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK).

“…we would clarify that Pakistan has expressed its readiness to allow the UN team sent by the High Commissioner to visit Azad Jammu and Kashmir together with the other part of Jammu and Kashmir under India,” Pakistan said in response to Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein’s address to the 35th session of UNHRC in Geneva on June 06 this year.

Al-Hussein is the UN high commissioner for human rights.

“It is in sharp contrast to India’s outright denial of the request for access,” Pakistan asserted.

“The current situation is the result of horrifying atrocities committed by India in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” it alleged.

“India and not Pakistan has curbed freedom of expression and access to information by blocking 22 social media websites and applications in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. It is in Indian Occupied Kashmir where mass blinding due to use of pellet guns, rapes, torture, extra-judicial killings, and continuous curfews are being reported. Therefore, we urge the High Commissioner to present the complete picture in front of the Council rather than coupling Pakistan with India while addressing the situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” Pakistan stated.

Reiterating his request for “unconditional access” of his office to the troubled regions of “India-administered Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir”, the UN rights body chief had warned that the denial of access will eventually lead to “various forms of remote monitoring” by his office and making the reports public.

“We had welcomed the announcement of the High Commissioner in the March session regarding the making of remote monitoring report on the areas like Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir where gruesome human rights violations were being reported but the access was being denied. We are looking forward for the report to be made public soon,” Pakistan said.

Srinagar (J&K) office of the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). (FPK file Photo)

The representative of Pakistan in UNHRC informed the session that the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) had recently sent a fact finding mission to “Azad” Jammu and Kashmir.

The Commission’s request for access of a fact finding mission to the Indian part of Kashmir was rejected, it said.

“After the visit, the Commission has requested the High Commissioner to take note of the serious and widespread complaints of the gross human rights violations by the Indian forces against Kashmiris,” the Pakistani representative cliamed. “We urge the HC to follow this impartial and independent step forward.”

“Let me ask the Council, where in the world can a person tied to the front of a jeep as human shield by the Authorities and the perpetrators are subsequently given medals,” he said referring to an incident wherein an Indian army Major tied a weaver in Budgam to his jeep and paraded him through at least seventeen villages on April 09 this year.

“The Kashmiris are desperately looking towards the International community to answer their call for help for ending the nightmare of tyranny and oppression which is a result of decades of systematic state sponsored terrorism,” the Pakistani representative added.

“We must give credit to Indian delegation for its consistency in misleading the Council, session after session, through its lies, obfuscation and meddling of the facts. India continues to flout its international human rights obligations by unleashing reign of terror in Indian Occupied Kashmir and then the irony is that it acts as a victim,” the representative alleged.

“India uses incongruous tactics of blaming Pakistan as a diversion from addressing gross human rights violations in Kashmir. India should for once introspect on the actual causes of current unrest in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The latest wave of unrest is a result of decades of systematic state sponsored terrorism committed by India in order to crush the struggle of Kashmiris for the exercise of their right to self determination. A right that was guaranteed to them by UN Security Council resolutions,” the statement further added.

“Can India tell the Council why it requires presence of 700000 security forces in Kashmir, a ratio of 1 security personnel for every 17 Kashmiris? Millions of Kashmiris chanting slogans of freedom would surely not be considered as terrorists by the world community. Which elections in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is India talking about? The recent ones where less than 7 percent turnover and a mere 2% in the re-polling was reported and that under barrel of gun. Azad Jammu and Kashmir has truly elected and empowered government unlike Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement said.

“Rather than blowing the trumpet of being largest democracy just because of population size, it would be prudent for India to see whether it poses democratic values and culture. Democracy dies a slow painful death at the sight of 6,000 mass graves, extrajudicial killing of 94,000 innocent people, mass blinding of more than 250 people including little children and women, molestation of more than 8000 women, all atrocities done in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Does Indian democracy follow the same set of moral standards as the rest of the world? Do draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act exist in other functioning democracies? The last nail in the coffin in the shining Indian democracy is the current neo-fascist Indian regime that has a narrow hindutva mindset, has total disregard for international norms, and has an agenda of state sponsored terrorism and a huge appetite for human rights abuses. It is the product of the militant, hate driven ideological parent known as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which preaches hate against Muslims, Dalits and Christian minorities. This is the recipe for destruction and that is what we are witnessing in Kashmir,” the statement made by the Pakistani representative under ‘right to reply’ said.

“India is seriously deluding itself if it believes that the world is blind to Indian barbarities in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. More than 268 brutally killed, and around 20,000 seriously injured and scores of hundreds, including children and women blinded these figures are testament to the inhumane reality the innocent Kashmiris in Indian occupied Kashmir are forced to suffer at the hands of Indian occupation forces since the last 7 decades,” it further said.

The statement said that Indian attempts to term the “legitimate freedom struggle of Kashmiris for the right to self determination as terrorism is absolutely absurd”.

“The recent crisis in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir was sparked after the extra-judicial execution of the 22 year freedom fighter, Burhan Wani, a Kashmiri hero and martyr. More than 2,00,000 people attended his funeral despite a strict curfew putting to shame Indian claims of terrorism,” it said. “The reality is that despite use of brutal force by Indian forces, each death in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir is mourned by millions and only strengthens the resolve of the Kashmiri people. The Indian government needs to acknowledge this reality and accept the demand for right of self-determination of Kashmiris.”

“India would do well to stop the mindless, farcical, knee-jerk reaction of blaming Pakistan for everything from spy pigeons to railroad accidents,” he said.

The statement claimed that India has “deliberately escalated tensions at the Line of Control, committing more than 350 ceasefire violations since 2016”.

“The international community, which is all of us here, has not lived up to our promise to the Kashmiri people for the last seven decades. Kashmiri leaders are imprisoned or put under house arrest and prevented from offering Friday prayers. The Kashmiris continue calling upon the international community for justice, and protection of their fundamental human rights. It is time for us to respond to their call,” he said adding, “we call upon this council to urge India to immediately put an end to the mindless bloodshed in IoK and honour its international obligations.”

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