Geneva: The "Indian claim" that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is about terrorism is a false narrative and a "desperate attempt" to divert the attention of the international community from grave human rights violations being committed in the state, a Pakistani minister told the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Wednesday urging it to act "before it is too late".
"The Indian claim that the deteriorating human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir is an internal affair of India is factually incorrect, legally untenable and in violation of the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution," Zahid Hamid, Federal Minister for Law and Justice of Pakistan said speaking at the high-level segment of the ongoing 34th HRC session.
"Equally false is the Indian narrative that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is about terrorism.
"This is a patently desperate attempt to divert the attention of the international community from the grave human rights violations being committed by Indian forces," Hamid added.
Referring to India as an "occupying power", the Minister said that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir about "the tragedy of a people being brutalised... so that they can give up their just struggle for the inherent right to self-determination".
He added that Pakistan is a "recognised party to this internationally-recognised issue" under the UN resolutions. This is contrary to the Indian government's stand that the J&K issue is an internal matter of the country and that Pakistan has "no locus standi" in the matter.
The Pakistani government, he added, will continue to extend the "unflinching political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people".
Pakistan also called on all the mechanisms of the council and the Indian community to "remain seized of the grave and systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Jammu and Kashmir" and urged India to end its "oppression".
The right to self-determination is an inalienable right of the Kashmiri people, and the issue is pending final settlement through a free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices as enunciated in numerous resolutions of the UNSC, Hamid said.
Pakistan said that it supports the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stand that a UN human rights team should visit J&K to "independently and impartially investigate the grave human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian forces".
However, the UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein had asked for access to visit both Jammu and Kashmir as well as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in the 33rd session of the UNHRC held in September 2016.
"I believe an independent, impartial and international mission is now needed crucially and that it should be given a free and complete access to establish an objective assessment of the claims made by the two sides," he said at the opening session of the 33rd UNHRC.
Pakistan, in a letter to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said that it invites the team to visit the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir but only in tandem with a mission to the Indian side.
"We need to act now on Jammu and Kashmir before it is too late," the Pakistani law minister Hamid said at the current session of the UNHRC.
India and Pakistan had lashed out against each other on Jammu and Kashmir, with both parties making strong statements on human rights violations in their respective territories, in the last session of the UNHRC held in September 2016.
Published Date: Mar 01, 2017 16:26 PM | Updated Date: Mar 01, 2017 16:26 PM