India rejects UN offer to send fact-finding mission to Kashmir
In recent weeks, India has sharpened its rhetoric against Pakistan after a spike in tensions between the two following the death of Burhan Wani whom Pakistan called a “martyr” and “Kashmiri leader.”. Photo: AFP
New Delhi: Terrorism represents the grossest violation of human rights, India said on Tuesday as it rejected a request by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva to be allowed to send a fact finding mission to Kashmir.
“We have seen the comments by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. We note that he has received conflicting narratives on the cause for the confrontations,” an Indian foreign ministry statement said on Tuesday.
“It would be recalled that the present situation arose from the death of a self-acknowledged commander of the terrorist organization, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, who was wanted for several terrorist acts,” the statement said referring to killing of Burhan Wani by Indian security forces on 8 July.
The situation in Indian Kashmir was further aggravated by “sustained cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan”, the statement said.
“Terrorism is the grossest violation of human rights and should be so acknowledged by any impartial and objective observer. The high number of casualties sustained by Indian security forces is a reflection of the tremendous restraint they have displayed in difficult circumstances,” the Indian statement said.
On the suggestion for a visit of a mission to both sides of the Line of Control, the statement said, “We would underline that there is no comparison between the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.”
“The former has a democratically elected government, while the latter has seen a Pakistani diplomat arbitrarily appointed as its head. The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is part of a pluralistic and secular democracy, where freedoms are guaranteed by an independent judiciary, an active media and a vibrant civil society. In contrast, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is administered by a ‘deep state’ and has become a hub for the global export of terror,” the Indian statement said.
Indian political parties who met for at an all party meeting in New Delhi to discuss the Kashmir unrest, had considered the option of “an external mission” visiting Indian-Kashmir, the statement said.
“It was unanimously felt that Indian democracy has all that is required to address legitimate grievances,” it said, adding: “We hope that the connection between terrorism and violation of human rights would be recognized and deliberated upon in Geneva.”
In recent weeks, India has sharpened its rhetoric against Pakistan after a spike in tensions between the two following the death of Wani whom Pakistan called a “martyr” and “Kashmiri leader.”
India has also been angered by several recent steps taken by Pakistan on Kashmir—specifically, Islamabad deciding to commemorate 20 July as a Black Day to mark India’s alleged human rights violations in Kashmir; appointing 22 envoys to go around the world talking about these alleged violations; writing to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to draw his attention to the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir; and briefing the ambassadors of countries with diplomatic missions in Pakistan.