Pakistan backs UN call for investigating human rights abuses in J&K

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Islamabad, June 14 (IANS) Pakistan on Thursday supported a call by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate alleged violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

The first-ever report issued by the UN on human rights in Jammu and Kashmir sought a probe to “resolve past and current violations” in the disputed territory, which has witnessed a seven-decade long conflict between India and Pakistan.

“Pakistan welcomes the proposal by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish a commission of inquiry for international investigation into human rights violations in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK),” the county’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

The statement added that the UN proposal was “similar to Pakistan’s appeals for probing alleged human rights violations in the disputed region, calling it a ‘legitimate’ demand which has been ignored by New Delhi”.

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India outrightly rejected the report as “fallacious, tendentious and motivated” and an attack on its sovereignty.

The UN report focussed mainly on alleged serious violations committed in Jammu and Kashmir from July 2016 to April 2018. Activists estimated that up to 145 civilians were killed by security forces and up to 20 civilians killed by armed groups in the same period, it said.

The document also referred to “lack of political liberty and freedom of expression in Pakistan-administered regions of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan”.

“References to human rights concerns in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan should in no way be construed to create a false sense of equivalence with the gross and systematic human rights violations in IoK,” Pakistan said.

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The UN Human Rights Council is set to kick off a three-week meeting in Geneva on Monday to discuss “the most disturbing” cases of rights abuse around the world.

–IANS

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