UNHRC criticizes the country; India counters back

Updated: Oct 10, 2020



The situation of Kashmir has earned India much negative criticism from different foreign countries. At the beginning of the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva of Switzerland on 14th September, Monday, Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner of the organization gave a ' Global Human Rights Update' on the present circumstances around the world.


While speaking about India, Bachelet expressed her concerns regarding the current Kashmir situation. She said that incidents of military and police violence have been continuing to happen in Jammu & Kashmir, during the last one year, as well as incidents related to militancy and the usage of pellet guns. She referred to the changes made in the constitutional status and domicile rules of the region, giving birth to "deep anxiety" and the new media policy generated by the Jammu & Kashmir administration to restrict the space for political debate and public participation. She also mentioned about the hundreds of people remaining in the arbitrary detention, and the pending of several habeas corpus petitions, including those of many of the political leaders of the region.


She also showed her appreciation for the release of some political and community leaders, the services extended to the remote areas, and the recent limited restoration of internet connection in two districts - which according to her, should be granted to the rest of Jammu & Kashmir.


On 15th September, Tuesday, Indra Mani Pandey, the Permanent Representative to UN in Geneva for India expressed his regrets on Bachelet's mention of Jammu & Kashmir in her global update. He said that since the revocation of its autonomous status in August 2019, the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir have been enjoying the same fundamental rights as the people in other parts of India.


He further stated that, despite the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and deliberate attempts by one country to penetrate terrorists, evident success has been achieved "to revive grassroots democracy and new momentum to the social and economic development" in the region. He also added that the government has reaffirmed its commitment to delivering socio-economic justice to the disadvantaged people of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, including women, children, minorities, and refugees, by the affirmation of positive federal legislations and the annulment of outdated laws.

There still has been no response recorded on the statement of the Indian Ambassador, from the Chief Commissioner's Office of the UNHRC.

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