Ground-level facts ig­nored in UN report on Kash­mir: Nir­mala

UN ig­nored the hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance the In­dian Army had been ren­der­ing to vic­tims of ter­ror­ism in State, says Nir­mala Sithara­man The 2+2 strate­gic di­a­logue with US is ex­pected to take place in Sept, she added

The Hitavada - - 2ND FRONT PAGE -

INDIA on Fri­day rub­bished as ‘base­less’ the UN report writ­ten from ‘com­fort zones’ on al­leged rights vi­o­la­tions in Jammu and Kash­mir.

Re­act­ing to UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Antonio Guter­res back­ing the call for an in­ter­na­tional probe into the al­leged hu­man rights sit­u­a­tion in Kash­mir, De­fence Min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man said that it had ig­nored re­al­i­ties how the In­dian Army had been ex­er­cis­ing max­i­mum re­straint in fight­ing ter­ror­ists and curb­ing protests in Jammu and Kash­mir.

She said the fact that se­cu­rity forces ren­der hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance to vic­tims of ter­ror in the State had also been over­looked by the United Na­tions Hu­man Rights Coun­cil (UNHRC) Com­mis­sioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hus­sein in his report that was “pre­pared sit­ting some­where else”.

“The as­sess­ment made is with­out ba­sis. If only they see what is on the ground, the In­dian Army has been ex­er­cis­ing the high­est re­straint (shown by any Army) in deal­ing with ter­ror­ists, pro­test­ers in Jammu and Kash­mir,” Sithara­man said here.

“It (the Army) has set up

schools, trained boys and girls for higher ed­u­ca­tion, made youth

from the State to travel to the rest of India. All that has been ig­nored.” Asked about Guter­res back­ing report and calling it the voice of the UN, Sithara­man said that India didn’t ex­pect the world body Chief to re­spond oth­er­wise to the report writ­ten from “com­fort zones”.

The report raised the is­sue of the Armed Forces (Spe­cial Pow­ers) Act (AFSPA) that Hussien as­serted gave se­cu­rity per­son­nel “vir­tual im­punity”.

Re­gard­ing the 2+2 strate­gic di­a­logue, which was de­ferred ear­lier this month, Sithara­man said, it ex­pected to take place in Septem­ber.

“The 2+2 di­a­logue with the US is to hap­pen in the first week of Septem­ber. The agenda will be to de­velop and strengthen strate­gic de­fence co­op­er­a­tion and to fol­low-on with what had tran­spired dur­ing the meet­ing with US De­fence Sec­re­tary Jim Matti,” Sithara­man told re­porters.

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