External Affairs

India Hits Out at UNHCHR, Says ‘Ambiguities’ in Its Governance

The UN Human Rights Council meeting room in Geneva. Credit: ohchr.org

The UN Human Rights Council meeting room in Geneva. Credit: ohchr.org

Geneva: In yet another sharp rebuff to the UNHCHR’s reference to Jammu and Kashmir, India today said it was concerned at “persisting ambiguities” in the UN body’s governance and asserted that the violence in the state was “choreographed” from across the border.

Hitting out at Pakistan, India also emphasised that it has shared evidence of terrorists who came across the border with instructions to target the security forces by mingling with protesting crowds and using them as human shields.

“Terrorism, I would emphasise, is the most egregious violation of human rights,” India’s ambassador and permanent representative at the UN in Geneva, Ajit Kumar, said during the general debate on the oral update by the UNHCHR during the 33rd session of Human Rights Council.

India also stated that the whole state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of it while Pakistan remains in illegal occupation of a part of its territory and the “two cannot and should not be equated”.

“The neutrality of the phrase ‘Indian-administered Kashmir’ is, therefore, artificial. Furthermore, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has an elected democratic government that represents all sections of the people unlike the situation in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” the Indian envoy said.

India, in its statement, said, “We have noted the reference in the High Commissioner’s statement to the situation in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir”.

“The current violence in Jammu and Kashmir has been choreographed from across our border since the death of a known terrorist belonging to an internationally proscribed terrorist organisation in police action in July this year. We have shared evidence of terrorists who came across the border with instructions to target our security forces by mingling with protesting crowds and using human shields,” he said.

In sharply critical comments, India said it has been appreciative of the high commissioner’s efforts at improving efficiency and streamlining OHCHR’s work, however, it remained “concerned at persisting ambiguities in OHCHR governance and administrative arrangements. High Commissioner’s proposed Change Initiative requires more clarity.”

Kumar also stressed that Jammu and Kashmir has started to move towards normalcy after sustained and system-wide efforts by both the central and the state governments, including the exercise of maximum restraint by the security forces, 7000 of whom have sustained injuries till date.

India’s statement came in reaction to the remarks by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

In his opening statement at the meet, Hussein had said, “We had previously received reports, and still continue to do so, claiming the Indian authorities had used force excessively against the civilian population under its administration. We furthermore received conflicting narratives from the two sides as to the cause for the confrontations and the reported large numbers of people killed and wounded.

  • SS

    We are handling this very badly. Human rights by definition is about the abuse of individual’s rights by the state. Terrorists are not expected to show any respect for human rights. We need to let this pass quietly without joining issues aggressively. It is never a good idea to take a strong position when you are on a weak wicket.

  • Kahula

    This stance is because India’s ruling government thinks USA doesn’t care. Just wait until Trump’s wishywashiness bites them . Let’s not forget atleast 60% of our business from abroad originates from the USA.