Army chief Bipin Rawat dismisses 'motivated' UN report on Kashmir human rights violations

Days after the United Nations alleged human rights violations in both "Indian-administered and Pakistan-administered Kashmir", army chief Bipin Rawat dismissed the report saying that there is no need to be concerned about it.

"I don't think we need to speak about the UN record of the army. It (army's track record) is well known to all of you, the people of Kashmir, and the international community. So, I don't think we should get too concerned about this report," Rawat told reporters on Wednesday.

The army chief further said that some of "these reports" are "motivated".

It its first-ever report on Kashmir — released on 14 June — the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had sought repealing of the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 "urgently", adding: "...immediately remove the requirement for prior central government permission to prosecute security forces personnel accused of human rights violations in civilian courts."

The body also called for an international inquiry into the abuses on "both sides of the Line of Control"."Any resolution to the political situation in Kashmir should entail a commitment to ending the cycles of violence and accountability for past and current human rights violations," the report said.

File image of Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat. PTI

File image of Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat. PTI

India rejected the report, calling it "fallacious, tendentious and motivated". "We question the intent in bringing out such a report," the Ministry of External Affairs had said.

While the BJP called it "prejudiced and baseless", Congress said the report had been prepared without understanding the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir. "Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inseparable part of India. We reject UN Human Rights Report as a prejudiced attempt by vested interests to hurt India's sovereignty and national interests," Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said.

Later, the Congress accused the government of "criminal failure" on the foreign policy front, asking how it could allow an international body to come out with such a report. Congress criticised the report in far more sharper and stronger words than the government of the day. How was that report allowed? How did the report come out," Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said.

Pakistan welcomed the report's recommendation for an independent, international Commission of Inquiry on Kashmir. "(Pakistan is) ready to facilitate the Commission of Inquiry to visit" Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, as proposed in the recent UN Report, provided that India is ready to allow them access to Jammu and Kashmir, Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said. "India must not shy away from this international obligation if it has nothing to hide," he added.


Updated Date: Jun 27, 2018 11:56 AM

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