Geneva/New Delhi, June 14 (PTI): The UN on Thursday released first-ever report on alleged human rights violation in Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and demanded an international probe into it, evoking a sharp reaction from India which termed the document as “fallacious and motivated”.
New Delhi also lodged a strong protest with the United Nations, saying the government is “deeply concerned that individual prejudices are being allowed to undermine the credibility of a UN institution.”
“The report violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state through aggression,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a strongly-worded statement.
In its 49-page report, the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights focused on both Jammu and Kashmir (consisting of the Kashmir Valley, the Jammu and Ladakh regions) and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir (Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan).
Taking objection to the UN using terms like “Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan” for PoK, the MEA said “The incorrect description of Indian territory in the report is mischievous, misleading and unacceptable. There are no entities such as ‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir’ and ‘Gilgit-Baltistan.”
“We are deeply concerned that individual prejudices are being allowed to undermine the credibility of a UN institution,” the ministry added.
The UN also asked Pakistan to end its “misuse” of anti-terror legislation to persecute peaceful activists and quash dissent.
“Impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the report said.
It said special laws which are in force in the state, such as the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 (AFSPA) and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (PSA), have created structures that obstruct the normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardize the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations.
“Impunity for enforced or involuntary disappearances in Kashmir continues as there has been little movement towards credibly investigating complaints including into alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region,” it said.
The report has given a detailed account of protests and incidents of alleged excesses by the security forces since 2016.