Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

India, Pak should fulfil obligations under worldwide human rights law: Amnesty

VK Singh India's Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh India's Minister of State for External Affairs
Kenny Thornton | 14 June, 2018, 22:23

Addressing reporters at the AICC headquarters, Congress leader and former Union minister Rajeev Shukla also condemned the report and said the Congress party supports the stand taken by the government of India on the issue.

Amnesty International India said that report reaffirmed the demands of various domestic and international human rights organisations for Indian and Pakistani authorities to deliver justice for past and ongoing human rights abuses.

The UN report talked about the alleged human rights violation in both "Indian-administered and Pakistan-administered Kashmir".

Targeting the "exploitation" of the people in the name of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the report urged India to repeal the act on an immediate basis and conduct impartial investigations to probe all civilian killings since July 2016.

"Our protest and views in the matter have been conveyed unequivocally to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights".

However, Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez welcomed the report and the recommendation for a commission of inquiry by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

"The Indian claim has no legal basis and continues to be contradicted by the situation on ground over the last seven decades", Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement.

The UN "Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Developments in the Indian State of J-K from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in Azad J-K and Gilgit-Baltistan" also noted since the late 1980s, "a variety of armed groups has been actively operating in the Indian state of J-K". "Government deserves our full support to deal with the report".

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Welcoming the report, Kashmiri hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq wrote on Twitter, "People of Kashmir thank the United Nations, especially the bold efforts of its HR commissioner, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, for its support to the right of self-determination". "We reject and condemn this report, which is completely uncalled for", he added.

Given that India has maintained that people in Jammu and Kashmir were victims of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan, which was training and arming militants and helping them infiltrate across the LoC, the United Nations report may not go down well with New Delhi. Alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu should be investigated, he said.

India rejected the report, calling it a "selective compilation of largely unverified information" that sought to build "a false narrative", adding that it violated the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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 United Nations report says. The incorrect description of Indian territory in the report is mischievous, misleading and unacceptable.

The rights office also said that restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly made it hard to obtain information about conditions in Pakistan-Administered Kashmir.

India said it was disturbing that the U.N. report described internationally-designated and U.N. -proscribed militant bodies as "armed groups" and militants as "leaders", as it undermined the U.N. -led consensus on zero tolerance of terrorism.

The rights office also said restrictions on the freedom of expression and assembly make it hard to get information about conditions in PoK.

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