Monday, 18 June, 2018

India rejects UN report on rights violation as 'fallacious'

UN rights chief calls for major probe into Kashmir abuses UN rights chief calls for major probe into IOK abuses
Jeannette Daniel | 14 June, 2018, 17:59

India on Thursday rejected a United Nations report that accused it of having used excessive force in disputed Kashmir to kill and wound civilians since 2016 and which called for an global inquiry into the accusations of rights violations. "We question the intent in brining out the report". It added that the report is a selective compilation of largely unverified information.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) rejected the report and said, "it is fallacious, tendentious and motivated".

Ilyas Zargar, a 29-year-old resident of Srinagar, also welcomed the report, and called on the United Nations to "hold India accountable for the daily human rights violations in Kashmir" through a real enquiry into abuses. "The report violates India's sovereignty and territorial integrity".

The verdant Kashmir valley, nestled below snow-capped Himalayan peaks, has been disputed by India and Pakistan since the time of independence and Pakistan's creation, and its border is one of the most heavily militarized in the world. "Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state through aggression", the MEA said.

The UN Human Rights Office - which, despite repeated requests to both India and Pakistan over the past two years, has not been given unconditional access to either side of the Line of Control - undertook remote monitoring to produce the report, which covers both Indian administered Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir.

"India rejects the report".

The UN report urged Pakistan to end its "misuse" of anti-terror legislation to persecute peaceful activists and quash dissent.

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There was no immediate comment from Pakistan to the report issued by the United Nations human rights office in Geneva, which called for justice for victims on both sides of the so-called Line of Conflict.

The report's main focus is on IHK, the FO noted, and the "contents, scale and the narrative of killings, maiming, abuse and impunity articulated in the report is a reaffirmation of what Pakistan has long highlighted for the worldwide community".

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".

The report said that Zeid met with representatives of both governments following an upsurge of violence in July 2016, triggered by India's killing of 22-year-rebel commander Burhan Wani.

One of the most risky weapons used against protesters in 2016 - and which is still being employed by security forces - was the pellet-firing shotgun.

India should urgently repeal the AFSPA; establish independent, impartial and credible investigations to probe all civilian killings since July 2016 and all abuses committed by armed groups; and provide reparations and rehabilitation to all injured individuals and to the families of those killed in the context of security operations.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is divided between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, who both claim the mountainous region in full and have fought two of their three wars over it since their separation in 1947.

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