Un­re­por­ton Kash­mir fal­la­cious:govt

State­ment in re­sponse to UN re­port that has sought an in­ter­na­tional in­quiry into the al­leged abuses in Jammu & Kash­mir

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION - HT Cor­re­spon­dents

NEW DELH/SRI­NA­GAR: A first-of-it­skind UN re­port on al­leged hu­man rights abuses in Jammu and Kash­mir pro­voked a strong re­ac­tion on Thursday from In­dia, which de­scribed it as “fal­la­cious, ten­den­tious and mo­ti­vated” and a vi­o­la­tion of the coun­try’s sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity. In the Kash­mir Val­ley, a sep­a­ratist leader wel­comed the re­port as did the Pak­istan for­eign of­fice in Is­lam­abad.

The re­port by the Of­fice of the United Na­tions High Com­mis­sioner on Hu­man Rights, ti­tled ‘Re­port on the Sit­u­a­tion of Hu­man Rights in Kash­mir: De­vel­op­ments in the In­dian State of J-K from June 2016 to April 2018, and Gen­eral Hu­man Rights Con­cerns in Azad J-K and Gil­git­baltistan’, sought an in­ter­na­tional en­quiry into the al­leged abuses. “In­dia re­jects the re­port. It is fal­la­cious, ten­den­tious and mo­ti­vated,” ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry spokesper­son Raveesh Ku­mar said, ques­tion­ing the intent be­hind the pub­li­ca­tion of such a re­port, which he de­scribed as a se­lec­tive “com­pi­la­tion of largely un­ver­i­fied in­for­ma­tion.

“It is overtly prej­u­diced and seeks to build a false nar­ra­tive,” he said, adding that it vi­o­lated “In­dia’s sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity”.

The re­port also sought re­peal­ing of the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kash­mir) Spe­cial Pow­ers Act, 1990 “ur­gently” and also the im­me­di­ate re­moval of “the re­quire­ment for prior cen­tral gov­ern­ment per­mis­sion to pros­e­cute se­cu­rity forces per­son­nel ac­cused of hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions in civil­ian courts”.

Mod­er­ate sep­a­ratist leader Mir­waiz Umar Fa­rooq shared a link of the UN re­port sum­mary. “Wel­come the first ever UN re­port on HR vi­o­la­tions in #Kash­mir recog­ni­tion of the grave HR vi­o­la­tions by the state tak­ing place in Kash­mir for past 30 years in par­tic­u­lar and call­ing for in­quiry into them was long over­due. UN has a moral obli­ga­tion to­wards the peo­ple of Kash­mir,” the Mir­waiz wrote on Twit­ter.

Pro­gramme co­or­di­na­tor at Jammu Kash­mir Coali­tion of Civil So­ci­ety, Khu­ram Parvez, termed the re­port “path break­ing”. “This re­port is his­tor­i­cal & sym­bol­i­cally a huge step lead­ing to an ac­knowl­edge­ment of In­dian gov­ern­ment’s role in mas­sive hu­man rights abuses. Af­ter UN res­o­lu­tions on Kash­mir, this re­port is an im­por­tant ad­di­tion,” Parvez wrote on Facebook. Pak­istan wel­comed the UN High Com­mis­sioner’s pro­posal for a com­mis­sion of in­quiry on hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions in J&K, say­ing Is­lam­abad had made sev­eral calls to this ef­fect since 2016. The for­eign of­fice said in a state­ment that the re­port reaf­firmed Pak­istan’s al­le­ga­tions of killings, ar­bi­trary ar­rests and sys­tem­atic vi­o­la­tions in the state.

Pak­istan also backed the re­port’s call for a fi­nal po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion of the Kash­mir is­sue through a mean­ing­ful di­a­logue that in­cludes the Kash­miris. “The last­ing so­lu­tion of the Jammu and Kash­mir dis­pute is an essential im­per­a­tive for peace, se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity of South Asia and be­yond,” it said.

In­dia main­tains that the en­tire state of J&K is an in­te­gral part of the coun­try. “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,” the spokesper­son said.

The global hu­man rights body also asked Pak­istan to end its “mis­use” of anti-ter­ror leg­is­la­tion to per­se­cute peace­ful ac­tivists and quash dis­sent. The re­port said “any res­o­lu­tion to the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in Kash­mir should en­tail a com­mit­ment to end­ing the cy­cles of vi­o­lence and ac­count­abil­ity for past and cur­rent hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions”.

“The peo­ple on both sides of the Line of Con­trol have been detri­men­tally im­pacted and suf­fer from lim­i­ta­tions or de­nial of a range of hu­man rights,” said the UN re­port, which also re­ferred to the July 2016 killing of Hizbul Mu­jahideen com­man­der Burhan Wani by In­dian forces.

The In­dian state­ment said the re­port ig­nored cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism which New Delhi said is the “most egre­gious vi­o­la­tion of hu­man rights”.

“Cross-bor­der ter­ror and in­cite­ment is aimed at sup­press­ing the will of the peo­ple of Jammu and Kash­mir, dis­rupt­ing its po­lit­i­cal and so­cial fab­ric and un­der­min­ing In­dia’s in­tegrity,” the MEA spokesper­son said.

The spokesper­son said the re­port was “mo­ti­vated” and de­lib­er­ately ig­nored that “fun­da­men­tal rights and free­doms guar­an­teed un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion to ev­ery In­dian cit­i­zen, in­clud­ing in the state of Jammu & Kash­mir, are pro­tected also by an in­de­pen­dent ju­di­ciary, hu­man rights com­mis­sions, free and vi­brant me­dia and an ac­tive civil so­ci­ety”.

HT FILE

A pro­tester throws a stone at po­lice­men dur­ing clashes in Sri­na­gar, af­ter Hizb com­man­der Burhan Wani was killed in July 2016.

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