Several terror-related activities, including death of Kashmir Rising editor Shujaat Bukhari, in the Valley coinciding with the UN report on the issue of human rights in J&K only expose how lopsided a report can be.
While both the government and the Opposition stand united to criticize the “fallacious” report, it poses a question over the credibility of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a UN institution.
The 49-page report is full of prejudices against India, starting from its very title. According to the international practice, standardized by the United Nations, Kashmir is referred to as India-administered K
ashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. But this rule has been violated by the report as the title of it is “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir: Development in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir from June 2016 to April 2018, and General Human Rights Concerns in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.”
The term “Azad Jammu and Kashmir” is wrong in the parlance of the international relationships, as it is a highly contested issue. Pakistan refers to this area as Azad Kashmir, while India refers to this as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), and this is known as Pakistan-administered Kashmir in international politics.
But choosing to refer the area by the term Pakistan uses in its title, the report clearly revealed its tilt towards Pakistan. Carrying on with the same spirit, it referred terrorists as “leaders”, and terror groups as “armed group”.
The report conveniently overlooks the cross-border terrorism in the region for decades and instead concentrated on the happenings between July 206 and April 2018. Excessive use of force by Indian Army, including pellet guns, has been slammed in the report. It has also urged the Centre to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1990.
The report made it clear that it had zero understanding of the ground situation in the Valley.
The OHCHR report stated: “Shortly after the outbreak of violence (in July 2016), the High Commissioner for Human Rights met with the representatives of the Governments of Pakistan and India who had differing narratives about the ongoing events and the general situation in Kashmir. From July 2016, the High Commissioner for Human Rights has on numerous occasions requested the Governments of India and Pakistan that his Office be given unconditional access to Kashmir to assess the human rights situation.” It said India rejected this request, while Pakistan said it could offer access if India did.
“Without unconditional access to Kashmir on either side of the Line of Control, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has undertaken remote monitoring of the human rights situation. This first report on the situation of human rights… is based on such monitoring,” it stated.