Pakistan has urged the United Nations Human Rights Council not to remain a passive bystander as India intensifies the suppression of fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva, Ambassador Khalil Hashmi, in the 47-member Council’s general debate which began in Geneva on Tuesday said, “In the face of eerie silence by some members of the (Human Rights) Council, the crimes of self-professed largest democracy are getting entrenched, and its sense of impunity being rewarded.”
He reiterated Pakistan’s call on the Council members to force India to rescind its unlawful actions, halt the illegal demographic changes, put an end to human rights abuses, allow access to independent observers and urge the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to issue an updated assessment on Kashmir.
“To lend credence to the notion of accountability, the Council members should act on the recommendations of the two OHCHR reports for establishment of a Commission of Inquiry on occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” the Pakistani envoy said. “This Council cannot afford to remain a passive bystander in the face of independent evidence of India’s grave violations. Silence and shielding an oppressor is undermining the universal cause of human rights and further eroding the credibility of this Council.”
Action on part of the UNHRC was necessary as India continues to stonewall calls for access, he said, adding it continues to alter the demographic structure of the occupied region in blatant defiance of international law; it continues to draw a physical and digital iron curtain; it continues to kill, maim, torture, arbitrarily detain and forcibly disappear the Kashmiri youth, women and elderly – by invoking the canard of “terrorism”.
To hide these crimes, Ambassador Hashmi said, India has muzzled local media, silenced civil society and denied access to independent observers, pointing out that not a single member of Indian forces has ever been punished due to pervasive impunity afforded by draconian laws, a pliant judiciary, and hand-picked local administration.
The Pakistani envoy also delivered a statement to the Council on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
“The human rights situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir remains a matter of deep anguish for us,” the OIC statement said, urging India to implement the applicable UN Security Council resolutions as well as recommendations addressed to it in OHCHR’s two Kashmir reports.
“We reiterate our strong demand for reversal of all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after 5 August 2019, including reversal of illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory,” it said.—KMS