India took strong exception to remarks by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) on Jammu and Kashmir and said terrorism is the “grossest violation” of human rights and should be so acknowledged by any impartial and objective observer.
It also asserted that the unrest in the Valley has been “aggravated by sustained cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan”.
The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, had asked India and Pakistan to grant the agency an “unconditional access” to both sides on the Line of Control to establish an “objective assessment” of the situation.
Maintaining that the UNHCHR has received conflicting narratives on the cause for the confrontations in the Valley, external affairs ministry said there is no comparison between the situation in the Indian state of J&K and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. “The former has a democratically-elected government, while the latter has seen a Pakistani diplomat arbitrarily appointed as its head,” it said.
Hussein also said that Pakistan has handed over a letter formally inviting a team to the Pakistani side of the Line of Control, but in tandem with a mission to the Indian side.
“The high number of casualties sustained by Indian security forces is a reflection of the tremendous restraint they have displayed in difficult circumstance,” it said.
“It was unanimously felt that Indian democracy has all that is required to address legitimate grievances. Accordingly, an all-party delegation visited Srinagar. Despite cross-border terrorist infiltration that saw an encounter only yesterday (Monday), the government remains fully engaged in normalising the situation as soon as possible,” it said.
India hopes that the connection between terrorism and violation of human rights would be deliberated upon in Geneva, the ministry added. The 33rd session of the Human Rights Council got underway in Geneva on Tuesday.
In his opening statement at the meet, Hussein said, “We had previously received reports, and still continue to do so, claiming the Indian authorities had used force excessively against the civilian population under its administration. We furthermore received conflicting narratives from the two sides as to the cause for the confrontations and the reported large numbers of people killed and wounded.