Pakistan urges UN Human Rights Council not to remain ‘silent bystander’ to India’s abuses in Kashmir

Michelle Bachelet

GENEVA, Sep 15 (APP): Pakistan Tuesday called on the UN Human Right Council not to remain a “silent bystander” to the gross human rights abuses in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, saying its failure to hold India accountable for its actions will only erode the 47-member body’s credibility.

“Silence will incentivize India to commit further repression against Kashmiri civilians,” Ambassador Khalil Hashmi said in his remarks to the Council on the report of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in which she expressed concerns over New Delhi’s continued violation of Kashmiri people’s rights.

“These concerns once again validate the widely documented violations by the global media. Independent civil society organizations have also been alerting the Council to this human rights crisis,” the Pakistani envoy said about the High Commissioner’s report which she unveiled on Monday As the Human Rights Council opened its 45th session.

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India’s illegal occupation and its state-sanctioned oppression are enabled by several draconian laws, he said, pointing out that for decades, not a single member of Indian security forces has been convicted due to the immunity provided under these laws.

“India continues to reject any access to independent media, human rights organizations or to the OHCHR. Such is the level of impunity and arrogance on full display by the so-called largest democracy of the world.”

“Using COVID as a cover,” Hashmi added, “India has accelerated demographic engineering in the occupied region by giving hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri domicile certificates in the past several weeks to non-Kashmiris.

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“These illegal actions are aimed at transforming the Kashmiri majority into a minority and to deprive the Kashmiris their inalienable right to self-determination.”

Lack of the Council’s response, Ambassador Hashmi said, would encourage the Indian regime to continue defying international law and norms.

“And failure to hold India accountable for its continued human rights abuses will only erode the credibility of this Council, its members, and the global human rights agenda,” he said.

“We therefore urge the High Commissioner and her office to continue the Kashmir monitoring and reporting processes, based on human rights merits and the objective criteria.”