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India’s ‘divisive policies’ marginalising Muslims, other minorities: UNHR chief

NEW YORK: United Nations (UN) Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet berated India for its “divisive policies” which have extensively marginalised Muslims and other minorities in the country.

“India’s narrow political agendas are marginalising Muslims and other minorities in an already unequal society,” she said in her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“I fear that these divisive policies will not only harm many individuals, but also undermine the success of India’s economic growth story.”

She further said in the report, “We are receiving reports that indicate increasing harassment and targeting of minorities — in particular, Muslims and people from historically disadvantaged and marginalised groups, such as Dalits and Adivasis.”

Bachelet shared her concerns over the ongoing tensions in Indian-occupied Kashmir and offered her office to investigate the situation on  ground.

“I remain concerned about the ongoing tensions in occupied Kashmir, as shelling and firing on both sides of Line of Control continue to contribute to loss of life and displacement,” she said.

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The UN Human Rights chief continued, “I encourage and invite both India and Pakistan to my office to monitor the situation on the ground, and to assist both the states to address the human rights issues that must be part of any solution to the conflict.”

A day earlier, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also reiterated his call to Pakistan and India to “de-escalate the tensions” as the hostile situation between the two nuclear armed states continues to pose threat to the regional peace and security.




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