JUNE 14, 2018
India today described as “fallacious, tendentious and motivated” a UN report that tears into both India and Pakistan for human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. In the report, the UN body has laid out recommendations for both countries and very controversially asked India to “respect the self-determination of the people of Kashmir”.
The UN human rights body chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has called for an investigation into “all civilian killings since July 2016” and also into “the excessive use of force by security forces including serious injuries caused by the use of pellet guns immediately stop using pellet guns for crowd control.”
This is the first-ever such report on Kashmir.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he would urge the Human Rights Council, which opens a new session next week, “to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir.”
A Commission of Inquiry is one of the UN’s highest-level probes, generally reserved for situations like the conflict in Syria.
The findings come after months of clashes along the Line of Control and repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
The report said the UN body chief met with representatives of both governments following an upsurge of violence in July 2016 after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani by security forces.
On territory under Pakistan’s control, the UN report identifies “a range of human rights abuses,” but notes they “are of a different calibre or magnitude and of a more structural nature.”
The rights office also says restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly make it difficult to get information about conditions in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan should “end the misuse of anti-terror legislation to persecute those engaging in peaceful political and civil activities and those who express dissent,” the UN report says.