Islamabad Politics Report/ Moazzam Raza Tabassam: Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Permanent Representative of Pakistan Ambassador Farukh Amil welcomed the recommendation made by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights to establish a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate human rights violations by India. He stressed that excessive use of force, indiscriminate killing of civilians, blindings by pellet guns, cases of mass graves and sexual violence by India in Jammu and Kashmir constitute crimes against humanity, which must be investigated. He also condemned the recent assassination of the Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari, Editor-in-Chief of the Rising Kashmir on 14 June 2018.
Referring to the UN High Commissioner’s Report, Ambassador Farukh Amil stated that Pakistan had long sought the UN’s sustained focus on Jammu & Kashmir and the latest report reaffirms Pakistan’s well known position on the grave human rights abuses committed by India in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir. The COI is consistent with Pakistan’s several calls to this effect since 2016, even as India has continued to ignore legitimate demands for a credible probe mechanism. He also endorsed the UN’s call for a final political solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute through meaningful dialogue in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. He said that the UN had a key role to play in the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Within the ambit of peace and security, the UN Security Council remains seized of its numerous resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The latest UN report is a reminder of this internationally recognized dispute and the urgency of its settlement, both to protect human lives and promote peace.
Characterizing the situation in IOK as deplorable, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also urged the Human Rights Council for an appropriate follow up of the UN Report on Kashmir. It also called for settlement of the dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions. A number of leading human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch welcomed the UN Report on Kashmir and urged India to accept its findings and recommendations.
Later in exercising its right of reply to Indian statement, the representative of Pakistan stated that Indian atrocities in IOK cannot be subsumed under the label of terrorism. Instead of blaming Pakistan, India should carry out introspection of itshuman rights violations in IOK and tackle Hindutva extremism and rank communalism in India, which threatened not just Muslims but also Christians, Dalits and Adhevasis.
The UN Human Rights Council is holding its 38th session in Geneva. Last week, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights had released the Report on Jammu and Kashmir expressing serious concerns on human rights violations in IOK and calling to establish an independent international COI.