The UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has said it has become necessary to set up an independent, impartial and international mission to assess the situation after observing declining conditions in Indian-held Kashmir while feeling disappointed because India has still not responded to UN’s request to access to Indian occupied Kashmir.
While addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the UN rights chief said he received a letter from the Government of Pakistan on September 9th. Pakistan’s Government has formally invited an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) team to visit Azad Kashmir but only if a similar team is sent to visit the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
He said he has yet to receive a formal letter of invitation for his team from the Government of India. He requested both Indian and Pakistani governments to give free and complete access to work through the issues and claims made by the both sides.
Zeid, while delivering his remarks at the opening session of human rights commission said that,“About two months ago I requested both the governments to invite teams from my office to visit both sides of the Line of Control, the Indian administrated Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-administrated Kashmir”.
According to him, he furthermore received different perspectives from the two sides as to the cause for the confliction and the reported large numbers of people killed and wounded.“I believe a self-governing, the unbiased and global mission is now needed crucially and that it should be given free and complete access to solve and conclude the claims made by the two sides,” he added. The Chief also added that he is continuously receiving the reports of excessive use of force by Indian forces on the common people under its administration. The Indian government is facing immense pressure after the death of a famous rebel leader during a gunbattle with Indian soldiers which caused increasing protests against Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir. Until now 70 civilians have been killed as a result of protests and curfew in Jammu and Indian occupied Kashmir.
Indian ministry of external affairs has rejected Hussein’s statement of the excessive use of force by the Indian army. The Indian ambassador to the UN office told the human rights council that Pakistan is involved in illegal occupation in our territory and Jammu and Kashmir are an integral part of India. He added that unlike Pakistan, India has a democratic government in J&K. He also claimed that Azad Kashmir is a hub for the global export of terror.
In a separate ceremony, Pakistan showed welcoming attitude to human rights Chief request for an official visit to Azad Kashmir. Nafees Zakariya, the Foreign office spokesperson of Pakistan admired the Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein for pointing to the use of force in disputed valley of Kashmir and strongly supported the visit of UN human rights team in Indian-held Kashmir.
Nafees Zakaria further said that the human rights team would help in improving the current condition in Indian occupied Kashmir which are a big problem of Kashmiri people for the last 68 years. He also requests India to give a response to the Human rights chief’s request.