Eastern Eye (UK)
India slams UN concern over Kashmir’s status
INDIA has criticised UN rights experts for voicing concerns about constitutional changes made in Kashmir.
A statement released by the two special rapporteurs on minority issues and freedom of religion or belief last Thursday (18) called into question their neutrality and objectivity, foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said.
In their statement, the special rapporteurs said a decision by the Indian government last year to end the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir state and enact new laws could curtail the political participation of Muslims. Muslims and other minority groups also stood to lose on issues such as employment and land ownership, they said.
Srivastava said Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and the changes made in its status were enacted by parliament. One of the changes was that laws in force in the rest of India would apply to the people of Kashmir, allowing them the same legal rights as the rest of India, he said.
“This press release calls into question the larger principles of objectivity and neutrality that the SRs (special rapporteurs) are mandated by the Human Rights Council to adhere to,” Srivastava said in a statement late last Thursday night.
He said the special rapporteurs’ statement was released as India hosted international diplomats in Kashmir. Officials said the visit was intended to showcase efforts to restore normalcy a year after the region was stripped of its special status.
Ahead of the ambassadors’ visit – where diplomats from a host of African, Asian, European and Latin American countries met local leaders – authorities lifted a curb on highspeed 4G internet.
Last Friday (19), militants killed three policemen in two separate attacks in Srinagar, hours after security forces killed three militants in south of Kashmir, police chief Vijay Kumar said.