UN chief backs proposal for international probe into rights abuses in Indian occupied Kashmir

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UNITED NATIONS, July 13 (APP):UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Thursday supported a proposal by the world body’s human rights chief for international investigation into the atrocities being committed by security forces in Indian occupied Kashmir, while also calling on India and Pakistan to find a political solution to the Kashmir dispute.
“All the action of the (UN) human rights high commissioner is an action that represents the voice of the UN in relation to that issue,” he said in reply to a question from APP correspondent at his mid-year press conference at UN Headquarters in New York.
On June 14, High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein urged the Human Rights Council to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir.
A COI is one of the UN’s highest-level probes, generally reserved for major crises like the Syrian conflict.
The decades-old Kashmir dispute “has robbed millions of their basic human rights,” Zeid said at that time.On Thursday, responding to a question about his efforts to resolve the Kashmir dispute, the secretary-general said,
“It is clear for me that only political solutions can address political problems.
“Whenever I meet the leaders of both India and Pakistan, I always offer my good offices and I hope that in the future (they) will be able to create the mechanisms of dialogue that will allow for this problem to find an adequate political solution that the people can benefit from,” he added.
Pakistan has always welcomed mediation offers from the United Nations but India rejects them, claiming that Kashmir is a bilateral issue.