July 2018 News

This Pakistani Cleric Was Behind Adverse UN Report On Kashmir

10 July 2018
India Today

New Delhi: A report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Jammu and Kashmir recently created a huge uproar. It accused the security forces of grossly violating human rights in Jammu and Kashmir. Now, it has emerged that a Pakistani imam might have been behind adverse UN report on Jammu and Kashmir. He is Zafar Bangash, a Pakistani imam at the Islamic Society of York Region's mosque in Toronto, Canada. He has claimed that Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, was in constant touch with him. He also claimed that al-Hussein took inputs from him in preparing report on alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. News agency ANI has quoted Bangash as saying at a conference in Canada, 'I can say it to you, and I say it with all humility, but with great pride that we 'The Friends of Kashmir' also have a role in the production of this report. In fact, I had personal correspondence with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, e-mail correspondence in which he responded to my personal letter and e-mail saying that he would like to have access to both sides of Line of Control.' Zafar Bangash also claimed that the Foreign Office spokesperson in Pakistan Nafees Zakaria knew about his interaction with al-Hussein. Bangash said that Zakaria 'assured that Pakistan would welcome the UN High Commissioner and their representatives to Pakistan'. The UN released a report on Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on June 14. India dismissed the report as report 'fallacious, tendentious and motivated' and a 'compilation of unverified information'. Later, India lodged a strong protest with the UN on this report.