UN Kashmir report written from ‘comfort zones’ ignores Army’s human face: India

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New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) India on Friday rubbished as “baseless” the UN report written from “comfort zones” on alleged rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

Reacting to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres backing the call for an international probe into the alleged human rights situation in Kashmir, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it had ignored realities how the Indian Army had been exercising maximum restraint in fighting terrorists and curbing protests in Jammu and Kashmir.

She said the fact that security forces render humanitarian assistance to victims of terror in the state had also been overlooked by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in his report that was “prepared sitting somewhere else”.

“The assessment made is without basis. If only they see what is on the ground, the Indian Army has been exercising the highest restraint (shown by any army) in dealing with terrorists, protesters in Jammu and Kashmir,” Sitharaman said here.

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“It (the Army) has set up schools, trained boys and girls for higher education, made youth from the state to travel to the rest of India. All that has been ignored.”

Asked about Guterres backing report and calling it the voice of the UN, Sitharaman said India didn’t expect the world body chief to respond otherwise to the report written from “comfort zones”.

Hussien, whose term gets over at the end of 2018, asked the Human Rights Council to set up a Commission of Inquiry into the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Council has not taken up his suggestion at its session that ended last week.

The report said “Indian security forces used excessive force that led to unlawful killings and a very high number of injuries” in dealing with protests in the state.

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The report raised the issue of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) that Hussien asserted gave security personnel “virtual impunity”.

–IANS

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