Geneva: Pakistan on Saturday strongly objected to the statement of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, that his office had been “forced” to undertake “remote monitoring of the human rights situation in Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC)”.
During his update presented in the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Al Hussein said that both India and Pakistan had shown reluctance to “engage with my office on the human rights concerns I have raised in recent months”. He said both countries had refused “to grant access to Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control to verify the worrying developments that continue to be reported there”.
Pakistan’s permanent representative to Geneva expressing willingness to allow any international body to visit its side of Kashmir, but said that Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) “cannot” be compared with J&K.
“Pakistan never had any objection to any international body visiting its side of the border and was more than willing to facilitate any such visit,” he said.
“Why the High Commissioner was continuously comparing Indian-occupied Jammu Kashmir with Azad Kashmir?” he asked.
“The High Commissioner needed to base his oral update on accurate facts. Reports repeatedly highlighted that there was no parallel between Jammu Kashmir and Azad Kashmir,” Pakistan asserted during its right to reply.
“Pakistan outlined that contrary to the situation prevailing in Jammu Kashmir, Pakistan allowed total access for United Nations to Azad Kashmir,” it added.
The UN high commissioner said his office was undertaking remote monitoring “with a view to making the findings public in the near future”.
Sardar Amjad Yousaf, representing the World Muslim Congress, asked the UNHRC as to “how long will the people of Jammu and Kashmir wait for the council to get permission from the occupying state India to facilitate the UN fact finding mission, which will investigate the disappearances of thousands of people and those who have been extra judicially killed in fake encounters and blinded by pellet guns.”
He also appealed to the UNHRC to help in revoking draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), Public Safety Act and Disturbed Areas Act.
Sardar Amjad Yousuf, who hails from a town along the LoC in PaK, told the council that “people living near the LoC in Azad Kashmir are being killed and injured on a daily basis because of unprovoked Indian firing across the de facto border.”
In its reply, the Indian representative spoke about the merits of democracy but did not respond to the UN commissioner’s annoyance over the non-cooperation by India with regard to the LoC situation monitoring, said a report by the Islamabad-based Geo News.