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India rejects UN report on human rights in J&K

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, June 14 (IANS): India on Thursday rejected as "fallacious, tendentious and motivated" the first ever report on human rights in Kashmir released by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (OHCHR).

"India rejects the report. It is fallacious, tendentious and motivated. We question the intent in bringing out such a report," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to a question.

"It is a selective compilation of largely unverified information. It is overtly prejudiced and seeks to build a false narrative," Kumar said.

The 49-page report issued by the OHCHR "details human rights violations and abuses on both sides of the Line of Control, and highlights a situation of chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces", a statement issued from Geneva on Thursday said.

"The political dimensions of the dispute between India and Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in the statement.

Stating that the report violates India's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Kumar, in his response, said that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

"Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state through aggression. We have repeatedly called upon Pakistan to vacate the occupied territories," he said.

"The incorrect description of Indian territory in the report is mischievous, misleading and unacceptable. There are no entities such as 'Azad Jammu and Kashmir' and 'Gilgit-Baltistan'."

Stating that terrorism is the most egregious violation of human rights, the spokesperson said that yet the authors have conveniently ignored the pattern of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan and territories under its illegal control.

"Cross-border terror and incitement is aimed at suppressing the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, disrupting its political and social fabric and undermining India's integrity," he stated.

"It is disturbing that those behind this report have chosen to describe internationally designated and UN-proscribed terrorist entities as 'armed groups' and terrorists as 'leaders'. This undermines the UN-led consensus on zero tolerance to terrorism."

Kumar also said that the motivated report deliberately ignores that fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution to every Indian citizen, including in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, are protected also by an independent judiciary, human rights commissions, free and vibrant media and an active civil society.

He said India's protest and views in the matter have been conveyed unequivocally to the OHCHR.

"We are deeply concerned that individual prejudices are being allowed to undermine the credibility of a UN institution," he said.

"Such malicious reports cannot undermine the will of the people and the government of India to take all measures necessary to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country from cross-border terrorism," he added.

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