India rebuts UNHRC demand for probe into Kashmir atrocities, Pak cheerful

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United Nations headquartersThe United Nations Human Rights Council chief favoured an international probe in Jammu and Kashmir, even as India refuted saying that violence in J&K was “remote-controlled” from across the border.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein asked both India and Pakistan to allow UNHRC teams to visit both sides of the Line of Control. He was addressing the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council.

Questioning the reference to Indian and Pakistan-administered areas, New Delhi stated that the entire Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India. “Pakistan remains in illegal occupation of a part of our territory,” said India.

Hussein said they had received reports of force used against civilians on the Indian side that has seen over 80 deaths so far. Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, welcomed the remarks by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the use of excessive force by Indian authorities in Indian Kashmir.

“I believe an independent, impartial probe by a team of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is needed in order to arrive at an assessment of the claims made by India and Pakistan,” Hussein said. While Pakistan has acceded to his request for a visit to its side, India was yet to acquiesce, he added.

India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Ajit Kumar, while addressing the 33rd UNHRC session, said, “It will be in the fitness of things if Pakistan focuses its energies on improving human rights situation within Pakistan and Azad J&K,” said Ajit Kumar at the 33rd UNHRC Session at Geneva.

The UNHRC emphasised on constructive dialogue and cooperation as best means for protection and promotion of human rights, adding “It is important for countries to invest trust in their efforts.”