September 2016 News

UNHRC Goes Public, Seeks Delhi, Islamabad Support On Kashmir Investigation

15 September 2016
Kashmir Life

Srinagar: Almost two months after the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sought permission for its investigators to visit the two halves of Kashmir - the J&K and PaK, its Chief has made the appeal public. He has said that the Council is receiving reports from Kashmir and there are rival narratives which require Council's investigation. UN rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein has actually regretted Delhi's lack of response to his request for access to J&K while insisting that the situation in J&K requires establishing an independent, impartial and international mission to assess the situation. Though he has admitted that Islamabad has conveyed formally an invitation on September 9 but no such invitation has come from Delhi. 'I have yet to receive a formal letter from the government of India. I therefore request here and publicly, from the two governments, access that is unconditional to both sides of the LoC,' Zeid was quoted saying to 33rd session of UNHRC. 'Two months ago, I requested the agreement of the governments of India and Pakistan to invite teams from my office to visit both sides of the LoC: in other words, the India-administered Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.' Zeid said that UNHRC received 'conflicting narratives' from the two sides as to the cause for the confrontations and the reported large numbers of people killed and wounded. 'I believe an independent, impartial and international mission is now needed crucially and that it should be given free and complete access to establish an objective assessment of the claims made by the two sides,' Zeid said. Zeid insisted that his council continues receiving reports of India using force excessively against civilian population under its administration. Last time it was the All Party Meeting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided in which External Affairs Minister Sushima Swaraj revealed that UNHRC was seeking access to J&K to investigate human rights. All the parties dismissed the move. In last nearly 70 days, Kashmir has lost close to 80 people as thousands are injured. It included a number of people who have lost their eyes in the pellet guns that police and paramilitary men are increasingly using. Delhi has already disallowed a group of civil libertarians from Kashmir from attending the UNHRC meeting.