THE WRONGS IN KASHMIR
It is hard to imagine a more even-handed report than the “Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir” by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which the Indian envoy to the U.N. cited dishonestly as “relying on unverified sources
THE outbreak of chauvinistic fury, which burst forth in India on June 14, 2018, explains fully the 70-year-old impasse in a solution to the Kashmir dispute. Kashmir arouses colonial emotions, not unmixed with Hindutva. On that day was published the “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Developments in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit–baltistan” by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The subtitle itself should indicate its even-handedness. U.N. Secretary-general Antonio Guterres did well to declare on July 13 that “all the actions of the Human Rights High Commissioner is an action that represents the voice of the U.N. in relation to that issue”. This is what the aspersions cast on the integrity of the universally respected High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein “accomplished”. He has won high praise for his consistent record of impartial and thorough pronouncements on violation of human rights. India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.N. Tanmaya Lal’s assertion that the report “relies on unverified sources of information” is a brazen falsehood. Its 49 pages have 388 footnotes, citing, mostly, Indian records such as official statements in Parliament. It is dishonest to deride the report for its “remote monitoring of the human rights situation” while refusing the U.N’S repeated requests for on-site inspection. This is of a piece with India’s basic policy on the U.N’S oversight on human rights. China and Russia have a better record.
The outbursts are akin to those on the publication of books which go against the “national” consensus by people who had not, perhaps could not, read it. One is astonished at the Kashmiri Pandits’ complaint, on June 26, that the report ignored their plight (The Tribune, June 27). The report has a whole page of three para-
A.G. NOORANI THE RELATIVE of a “disappeared” person takes part in a protest to mark International Human Rights Day, in Srinagar in December 2017. The protest was organised by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons.