KC-EU welcomes UN’s HR Commissioner’s statement on Kashmir

KC-EU welcomes UN’s HR Commissioner’s statement on Kashmir

The Chairman Kashmir-Council EU (KC-EU) Mr. Ali Raza Syed has welcomed the statement of the newly appointed United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights on the issue of human rights violations in Indian-administrated Kashmir. The High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Michelle Bachelet has criticised India for not taking any measures to address the human rights situation highlighted in the UN’s report on Kashmir.

In a written statement, the former Chilean president who succeeded Zeid Raad al Hussain as the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, said “In Kashmir, our recent report on the human rights situation has not been followed up with meaningful improvements, or even open and serious discussions on how the grave issues raised could be addressed.”

The Chairman of Kashmir Council-EU welcomed her statement and added that an urgent international investigation should be initiated into the human rights situation in Indian-administrated Kashmir, and it is indispensable for the UN to play its role. Those responsible of the human rights abuses must be held accountable under the international law, he added.

An international investigation into the massive human rights abuses in Indian-administrated Kashmir was a long-lasting demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The Chairman, further stressed the need for a non-military definitive solution to the Kashmir dispute, involving Kashmiris of all parts of the former princely state in the resolution of the core issues.

It is important to mention that the UN released its first-ever human rights report on Kashmir and called for an international inquiry into multiple violations. The report describes the situation of human rights in the Indian-administrated Kashmir over the period July 2016 to April 2018. This period saw a dramatic increase in human rights violations, particularly in the use of excessive force by the Indian security forces that resulted in heavy civilian casualties, arbitrary arrest & detentions.

Starting from July 2016 the United Nation has made frequent requests to both governments of India and Pakistan to be allowed unconditional access to Kashmir to unable first-hand information on the human rights situation to be obtained.  The Pakistan government has agreed to the UN request while the Indian government has so far refused to grant access to the territory of Indian administrated Kashmir. The Pakistan offer has been conditional on the Indian- administration granting unconditional access to the territory on its side of the Line of Control. In the absence of unconditional access, the authors of the UN report has been obliged to use remote monitoring methods to acquire information. To date, the UN Office continues to request permission to visit both sides of the Line of Control.

The Chairman of Kashmir Council-EU stressed that International human rights organisations should be granted immediate and unrestricted access to all parts of Jammu and Kashmir to investigate the human rights abuses thereby to compile regular and independent reports. He further added that the EU and the International Community needs to reaffirm their commitment and push forward for bilateral talks between the governments of India and Pakistan to strengthen the exchanges about conflict resolution, thereby ensuring a prosperous future for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and to give them the right of self-determination.

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