Coming out strongly against the latest update by UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) on its first-ever report on Kashmir, India’s External Affairs Ministry has out rightly rejected the remarks made in the new report and pointed out that the new report reflected a “prejudiced mindset”.
“It is a matter of deep concern that this update seems to accord a legitimacy to terrorism that is in complete variance with UN Security Council positions,” said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. The MEA spokesperson also described the report as a continued “motivated narrative” against Indian sovereignty and integrity.
Weighing India and Pakistan on the same scale the new UNCHR report said that both the countries have failed to improve the situation in Kashmir and have not taken any concrete steps to address the numerous concerns raised in its earlier report. “In Kashmir, accountability for violations committed by members of the Indian security forces remains virtually non-existent,” the report said.
Countering the claims made in the report, the MEA spokesperson said that the report chose to ignore the “comprehensive socio-economic developmental efforts undertaken by the government in the face of terrorist challenges.” He also added, “The update seems to be a contrived effort to create an artificial parity between the world’s largest and the most vibrant democracy and a country that openly practices state-sponsored terrorism”.
The original report which came out last year also met similar criticism from Indian authorities who labeled the report to be “fallacious, tendentious and motivated”. In a firm response to questions on the Report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on “The human rights situation in Kashmir”, the Official MEA Spokesperson had said, “The report violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state through aggression. We have repeatedly called upon Pakistan to vacate the occupied territories. The incorrect description of Indian territory in the report is mischievous, misleading and unacceptable. There are no entities such as “Azad Jammu and Kashmir” and “Gilgit-Baltistan,”
MEA also pointed out that the new OHCHR report has legitimized the actions of violent-groups. This is in continuation of India’s stand on the original report which came out in 2018 on which MEA spokesperson had said, “Terrorism is the most egregious violation of human rights. Yet the authors have conveniently ignored the pattern of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan and territories under its illegal control. Cross-border terror and incitement is aimed at suppressing the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, disrupting its political and social fabric and undermining India’s integrity.”
He had also added “It is disturbing that those behind this report have chosen to describe internationally designated and UN-proscribed terrorist entities as “armed groups” and terrorists as “leaders”. This undermines the UN led consensus on zero tolerance to terrorism.”
While India furthers its efforts towards stabilizing Kashmir region, similar reports have tried to de-legitimize India’s action against terror outfits as a violation of human rights. Over the past years, terrorism in Kashmir has met with firm security response which earlier was dealt with a soft approach because of lack of political will. However, India’s firm stand on its internal security and sovereignty is surely a positive step towards dealing with this decades-old problem born out of political mismanagement and similar misleading reports.