Geneva: Speaking during a debate at the 45th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), India’s permanent representative Indra Mani Pandey India on Tuesday said that India had revived grassroots democracy in Jammu and Kashmir despite persistent attempts by a neighbouring country to infiltrate terrorists to derail this process.>
Pandey also expressed regret over UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet’s reference to the region.
Pandey said that India remains committed to upholding all human rights. He said the human rights agenda and discourse must be pursued in a transparent and impartial manner with respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs of States.
Referring to the abrogation of the Article 370 in 2019 that revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Pandey said that since the changes, people in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have been enjoying the same fundamental rights as people in other parts of India.
“We have been able to revive grassroots democracy and provide a new momentum to social and economic development, despite the challenge posed by COVID-19 pandemic and persistent attempts by one country to infiltrate terrorists to derail this process by all possible means,” he said.
“By extending coverage of positive and affirmative federal legislations and repealing discriminatory or outdated local laws, the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to delivering socio-economic justice to disadvantaged people in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, including women, children, minorities and refugees,” he said.
“We regret that the High Commissioner in her oral update made a reference to the situation in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
He noted that as the largest and most vibrant democracy, India has been, since independence, an ardent supporter of human rights.
He added that India will continue its constructive engagement with the Council and OHCHR for the promotion and protection of human rights.