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New Delhi objects to 'India-administered Kashmir' term, decries UN's 'naming and shaming' countries

The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an "integral part of India" and therefore the neutrality of the term "India-administered Kashmir" is artificial, New Delhi said, after the United Nations human rights chief reiterated his request to India and Pakistan for access to the troubled region, adding that "zero tolerance" to terrorism is an international obligation.

"We have noted the high commissioner's reference to denial of access to, as he described, the 'Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir'. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan remains in illegal occupation of a part of our territory,” India said in an interactive dialogue held at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on Thursday.

Rajiv Chander. Image courtesy: Twitter/@IndiaUNGeneva

Rajiv Chander. Image courtesy: Twitter/@IndiaUNGeneva

"Therefore, the neutrality of the phrase 'Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir' is artificial. Furthermore, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has an elected democratic government that represents all sections of the people unlike the situation in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir," ambassador and permanent representative of India to the UN offices in Geneva, Rajiv Chander, told the HRC.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in his statement that opened the three-week HRC session in Geneva on Tuesday reiterated his call to India and Pakistan to allow "unconditional access" for his office to the region. He had made the same request to the nuclear-armed neighbours in the last HRC session in March this year.

"Despite repeated high-level requests to India and Pakistan, permission for my staff to have unconditional access to both sides of the Line of Control in India-administered Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir has still not been granted, and we continue to receive reports of increasing violence, civilian casualties, curfews and website blackout," Al-Hussein had said on Tuesday.

Furthermore, India said that the practice of "naming and shaming" countries at the HRC is unhelpful to the cause of promotion of human rights.

"We remain unconvinced by the belief in certain quarters that the true promotion and protection of human rights can be achieved through naming and shaming, particularly in the case of thriving pluralistic societies with deep-rooted democratic traditions and institutions," Chander said.

India said that it has a "robust independent media and civil society combined with an impartial judiciary" that "act as the sentinels of Indian democracy".

For the last two years, the UN human rights chief has been naming countries at the HRC who have not been cooperating or selectively cooperating with his office, including not giving access to their territories, or where there have been rights violations of concern to the UN.

"I am told repeatedly we should not be 'naming and shaming' states. But it's not the naming that shames. The shame comes from the actions themselves, the conduct or violations at issue," he said in his statement, that also mentioned a number of other countries as well including Myanmar, Burundi, Venezuela, Turkey, Egypt and China.

The shame is "self-inflicted", he argued.

India said that it has "benefitted immensely" from its recent Universal Periodic Review that resulted in 250 recommendations from 103 countries, and that the promotion of human rights is "work in progress".

"We firmly believe that a policy of zero tolerance to terrorism is as much an international obligation as it is a commitment to our own people," Chander said.

Updated Date: Jun 07, 2017 18:58 PM

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