Pakistan welcomes UNHRC request to visit Indian-occupied Kashmir
In a statement released on Tuesday, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria appreciated the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on raising the issue of the use of excessive force by Indian authorities in Indian Occupied Kashmir in his opening statement to the thirty-third session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Zakaria said we strongly support the High Commissioner’s position that a OHCHR team should visit Indian-occupied Kashmir to independently investigate the grave human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian occupation forces, resulting in the killing of more than 90 civilians and 8000 injured, including those with severe pellet gun injuries.
He said the visit by the OHCHR team would help end the culture of impunity which is prevailing for more than 68 years in Indian-Occupied Kashmir, in violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions.
Pakistan has expressed its readiness for the visit of any UN team sent by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Azad Jammu and Kashmir together with the Indian Occupied Kashmir, even though there is no comparison whatsoever between the situation in AJK and the rampant human rights violations and oppression in IOK.
The Spokesperson said we note the High Commissioner’s statement that he awaits a formal letter from India for access to IOK. He urged India to respond to this request.
UNHRC Chief’s remarks
The UNHRC chief had said on Tuesday that the deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir has made it crucial to establish an independent and impartial international mission.
He said that he had requested the governments of India and Pakistan to allow teams from his office both sides of the Line of Control, after receiving reports that Indian authorities had used excessive force against the civilian population, and a large number of people had been killed and wounded.
“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 sides,” he said.
He also said that he had received a letter last Friday from the government of Pakistan formally inviting him to send an OHCHR team, but had yet to receive a similar request from India.
He regretted the lack of response by India to his request for access to its controlled part of the disputed state and had called for unconditional access to both sides of the Line of Control.