India furious as UN rights report calls Lashkar-e-Taiba as armed group, PoK as Azad

Kashmir
Representational

New Delhi, June 16: Furious over the terminology used by the Office of the United Nations to describe Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) as “armed group” and terming Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as “Azad Jammu and Kashmir”,India has strongly objected to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report on human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and the internationally-accepted terminology in the report.

Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Ravish Kumar pointed fingers over the terminology used by the report – describing Burhan Wani as a “leader” of the Hizbul Mujahideen. Similarly, describes terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen as “armed groups”.

“It is disturbing that those behind this report have chosen to describe internationally designated and UN-proscribed terrorist entities as “armed groups” and terrorists as “leaders”. This undermines the UN-led consensus on zero tolerance to terrorism,” said Kumar.

New Delhi has pointed out that UN resolution 48/141 states that the High Commissioner for Human Rights should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of member countries as the report has “incorrect description” of Indian territory and asserted that there were “are no entities such as ‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir’ and ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’ and by using such terms Zeid has violated the resolution.

Zeid belongs to the Jordanian royal family and is due to demit office on August 31.Ravish Kumar questioned the “intent” of the report and said “Our protest and views in the matter have been conveyed unequivocally to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. We are deeply concerned that individual prejudices are being allowed to undermine the credibility of a UN institution.”

By referring to “individual prejudices” shows New Delhi’s implicit accusation that Hussein has been biased against the Indian government.

“The report violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan is in the illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state through aggression. We have repeatedly called upon Pakistan to vacate the occupied territories. The incorrect description of Indian territory in the report is mischievous, misleading and unacceptable. There are no entities such as “Azad Jammu and Kashmir” and “Gilgit-Baltistan,” the MEA said in a statement.

India directly targeted the UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein after he called on the Human Rights Council to set up an international investigation following the release of the first ever UN report on human right violations in Kashmir.

The report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) asserted “impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”.

It described special laws like the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 (AFSPA) and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (PSA), as having “created structures that obstruct the normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardize the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations”.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday suggested that the Centre needs to point out if there were any inaccuracy in the UN report on Kashmir.In the 49-page report, the United Nations Human Rights Office has called for a probe into alleged human rights violations in Kashmir by both India and Pakistan.

Tharoor said, “UN Human Rights Commission has to do its job and we have to do ours. It would be wrong for us to pretend that the situation is absolutely normal in Kashmir. There have been issues and violence in Kashmir and perhaps also in response to human rights violations.”

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