July 2018 News
'Totally Untrue': UNHRC Dismisses Criticism Of Its Kashmir Report18 July 2018
Times of India
New Delhi: United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) on Tuesday stood by its report on Kashmir and refuted the 'numerous misrepresentation' by India authorities and the media of its first-ever UN human rights report on Kashmir. On June 14, the UN had released its first-ever human rights report on Kashmir accusing security forces of gross human rights violations on both sides of the LoC. The report was dismissed as 'politically motivated' by several Indian agencies. In a media brief, the UN body today said that the reaction of Indian authorities to the report has left it 'deeply disappointed'. The human rights body said that the report was dismissed as 'fallacious, tendentious, and motivated' without even examining it. The body also termed as 'untrue' the allegations that report's content was influenced by a Canada-based imam of Pakistan descent, named Zafar Bangash. 'This is totally untrue,' it wrote. Almost a month after the publication of the report, in a sensational revelation, a Pakistan Islamist, based in Canada admitted that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, was in constant touch with him while preparing the Human Rights report, TOI had reported. In its defence, the body said that as many as 338 footnotes, from Lok Sabha to Chief of Army Staff were used to compile the report. 'The report was developed through remote monitoring after both India and Pakistan failed to grant unconditional access to the region,' a UNHCR official said. The UN body also dismissed as 'wild claims' the reports which had alleged the involvement of Pakistan-based intelligence agency, ISI, in framing the content of the Indian portion of the report. The human rights body said that it is 'disturbed' by sustained attempts to 'divert' the focus away from the human rights violations on both sides of the Line of Control. UNHCR was extensively slammed by political leaders for its 'baseless' and 'politically motivated' report. 'The report (on Kashmir) is prepared sitting somewhere else. The assessment made by the UNHCR is without basis. If only they see what is on the ground. Indian Army shows the maximum restraint,' defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. Congress, too, had stood in support of the government and termed the UN report a 'prejudiced attempt' by vested interests to hurt India's sovereignty and national interests.