New Delhi, June 16: The United Nations’ first-ever report on rights violations in Kashmir is completely driven by a biased and personal agenda of a discredited outgoing official, openly flouting all norms of multilateral engagement, a source told The Indian Express. The UN report of human rights violation in Kashmir triggered a hot debate here with the separatists welcoming the report and the government rejecting it as “overtly prejudiced and seeks to build a false narrative”.
While the terrorist organisations such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) have been designated as “terrorist outfits” by the United Nations, they have not been called the same in the human rights report on Kashmir. In fact, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), which UN describes as “Pakistan-administered”, has been termed as “Azad Kashmir” 26 times. In fact, the OHCHR report also referred some terrorists as “leaders” of these outfits.
In a letter sent on June 12, New Delhi had strongly objected to the terminology used by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, and the author of the OHCHR report, which is titled “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Developments in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan“.
The terms haven’t been corrected in the report, a copy of which was sent to India on June 4, sources said. “This report undermines the UN-led international consensus on zero tolerance to terrorism,” a source said. Pointing out errors, New Delhi said that Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India but he instead violated UN resolution 48/141.
The report has sought an international independent probe into human rights violations in Kashmir from July 2016 onwards – the time when Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with the security forces. “The focus of the report is on the situation of human rights in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir from July 2016 to April 2018 over which period allegations of widespread and serious human rights violations were received, notably excessive use of force by Indian security forces that led to numerous civilian casualties,’’ the report states.
The UN report has called the pellet shotguns as “the most dangerous weapon still in use by the security forces in Kashmir”. Junaid Azam Mattu, spokesman of the National Conference, however said that the report was a result of the Indian government not reaching out to the emotions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.