International probe into Kashmir violence crucial, says UN rights chief

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International probe into Kashmir violence crucial, says UN rights chief

September 14, 2016 in India

Amid continuing unrest in Kashmir, the UN Human Rights chief has said it is crucial that an independent, impartial and international mission be given free access to Indian as well as Pakistan-administered Kashmir to assess the situation on both sides of the border.

“I believe an independent, impartial and international mission is now needed crucially and that it should be given free and complete access to establish an objective assessment of the claims made by the two (Indian and Pakistani) sides,” UN human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein told the Geneva-based Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

“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,” he said.

Al-Hussein told the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council that two months ago, he requested the Indian and Pakistani government to invite his teams to visit the Kashmir valley and Pakistan-administered Kashmir to assess the situation, but has yet to receive a response from New Delhi.

The Pakistani side on September 9 formally invited a UN human rights team to visit the Pakistani side, but in tandem with a mission to the Indian side, al-Hussein said.

“I have yet to receive a formal letter from the Government of India. I therefore request here and publicly, from the two Governments, access that is unconditional to both sides of the line of control,”

he added.

His remarks come as the Kashmir Valley has been on edge from past more than two months in which at least 85 people have been killed and over 11,500 injured in clashes with security forces.

At UNHRC, India raises human rights violation issue in PoK

ndia on Wednesday raised the issue of human rights violations in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir during the 33rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Permanent Representative of India to UN, Ajit Kumar told news agency ANI that he made it very clear that J&K is an integral part of India and it represents all sections of the society, unlike PoK.
“I made it very clear that entire J&K is integral part of India, what remains is vacation of illegal territory occupied by Pakistan,” said Kumar.
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During his speech before the council, Kumar also spoke about Pakistan sending terrorists across the border. “I explained in my statement the problem of Pakistan sending terrorists across borders who mingle with crowds and we’re trying to tackle that,” he said.
This comes a day after the Ministry of External Affairs rejected the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights plea to allow a team of UN officials to visit Kashmir and take stock of the ground situation. The high commissioner also requested Pakistan to grant access to PoK. Pakistan eventually agreed to the commissioner’s request on the condition that India does the same.

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