Rejecting Pakistan’s attempt to rake up the Jammu and Kashmir issue at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting, India wondered if it was not an irony that a country, which protected and sheltered global terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar, was raising human rights concerns.
‘’Even as we approach 10 years of Mumbai terrorist attacks, their perpetrators continue to roam freely in Pakistan. The fact that UN proscribed terrorist entities and individuals actively campaigned and contested in the recently held elections reflects the deplorable state of affairs in Pakistan.
Terrorism originating from Pakistan remains the biggest threat to regional and global peace and security,’’ Indian diplomat Mini Devi Kumam said while exercising India’s right of reply in response to the statements made by Pakistan and the Organisation of Islamic Council (OIC) at the 39th session of UNHRC in Geneva.
She said no amount of ‘hyperbole’ could hide the dismal human rights record of Pakistan, which has been systematically violating the rights and freedoms of people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), including exploitation of their natural resources. Extrajudicial killings and disappearances in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa continue to be the order of the day.
Minorities were harassed through blasphemy laws. Forced conversions and marriages of minority women were routinely carried out with impunity. Even Muslim minorities such as Shias, Ahmadiyas, Ismailia and Hazaras were victims to sectarian violence and systemic persecution, she added.
Kumam said Pakistan with its amnesic tendency always chose to conveniently recall parts of the UN resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir. ‘’We would like to remind the Council that it was Pakistan that wrecked the UNSC resolutions by not meeting its primary obligation to first vacate the illegal occupation of PoK.
Pakistan should put a stop to its continued aggression against the people of Jammu and Kashmir and fulfill its commitments under the 1972 Simla Agreement and Lahore Declaration of 1999.’’
The Indian diplomat said India also rejected the reference to Jammu and Kashmir made by Pakistan on behalf of OIC. The OIC has no locus standi to comment on the internal affairs of India.
The OIC would be well advised to not allow itself to be misused by an ‘’errant member’’ (Pakistan) whose greatest and only contribution to the region and the world has been the malice of terrorism.
She asserted that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir was an integral and inalienable part of India. There could be no doubt of this fact. The people of the state, as citizens of India, have repeatedly reposed their faith in Indian democracy by actively participating in free and fair elections held at all levels.
‘’We have robust and effective mechanisms to address all challenges in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and protect their legitimate interests. The main challenge in Jammu and Kashmir is cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
Earlier, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Farukh Amil said the UN has a key role to play in the resolution of the J & K issues. The report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) of Kashmir highlighted the need for urgently settling the issue.