ISLAMABAD – The Foreign Office (FO) on Wednesday said the United Nations had denied Indian allegations on a report on the grave human rights situation in the occupied Kashmir.
FO Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal took to Twitter to express disappointment with the eastern neighbor, saying, “Deeply disappointed by India dismissing the report without examining it”.
He further said, “India failed to address the very serious concerns raised by Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) about the grave human rights situation in IoK”.
“OHCHR has categorically denied any contact between the high commissioner and Zafar Bangash,” Dr Faisal said, adding that the Kashmir report of OHCHR has quoted official Indian sources including the Indian Parliament, Indian Supreme Court and Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Faisal said, “OHCHR disturbed by the sustained Indian attempts to distract and divert the focus from the human rights violations in IoK”.
“OHCHR has said the Kashmir report is about the human rights of millions of people in Kashmir,” Dr Faisal said.
The foreign office further said that Pakistan has welcomed a visit by the Commission of Inquiry (COI) both to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and IoK as recommended by the report.
On June 14, the UN’s body released first-ever report on the human rights situation in Indian-Administered and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir.
The report said that Indian security forces have used excessive force in Kashmir and killed and wounded numerous civilians since 2016. It also called for an international inquiry into alleged violations in the disputed territory.
“There is an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and deliver justice for all people in Kashmir, who for seven decades have suffered a conflict that has claimed or ruined numerous lives,” says the report by the UN Human Rights Office.
The 49-page report details human rights violations and abuses on both sides of the Line of Control, and highlights a situation of chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces.
“The political dimensions of the dispute between India and Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
“This is why any resolution of the political situation in Kashmir must entail a commitment to end the cycles of violence and ensure accountability for past and current violations and abuses by all parties, and provide redress for victims,” he said.