Pakistan wants UNHRC to probe atrocities in India-held Kashmir

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has asked the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to establish a commission and appoint a special rapporteur to investigate human rights violations by Indian security forces in held Kashmir.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made this appeal during his speech at a meeting of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s special session.

“We urge the Human Rights Council for an expedited action to constitute the commission of inquiry to investigate gross human rights violations in India-held Kashmir,” Qureshi said, adding that if India had nothing to hide, it must allow the rights bodies to visit Jammu and Kashmir. “We also call upon India to give access to Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of OIC to undertake visit of India-occupied Kashmir.”

He said: “Pakistan, for its part, is committed to the UN Security Council resolutions calling for an UN-mandated plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.” He said Pakistan would extend its resolute moral, political and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir to safeguard their right to self-determination through an impartial plebiscite in accordance with the UN charter.

Qureshi observed the shadows of oppression and deprivation had loomed for too long on India-held Kashmir while the international community had long turned a blind eye to the violence perpetrated by India.

At the outset of the meeting, FM Qureshi expressed gratitude to Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov of Azerbaijan, Ibrahim Yacoubou of Niger, Adel Al Jubeir of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Mevlut Cavusagolu of Turkey for attending this meeting and expressing their solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

In their statements, the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Niger and the ambassador of Saudi Arabia expressed their support for peaceful settlement of Jammu and Kashmir dispute and called upon India to observe UN standards enshrined in the human rights instruments and international law, a press release stated.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan also raised the issue of grave human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian forces in India-held Kashmir with impunity. At the conclusion of the meeting, the AJK president presented a memorandum to the OIC secretary general on behalf of the Kashmiri people. ( Dawn )