The human rights groups in Jammu and Kashmir did not file even a single application under Right to Information to the national RTI commission despite being told that this was a forum to address this issue.
Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah made this disclosure in an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times Sunday. He was surprised that no one ever came forward to list the issue of the human rights before the commission under RTI.
" Not even a single application was filed by the human rights groups to the RTI commission in the past five years. In fact, I was surprised as even I told some of them that they could utilize this forum to seek information on these issues," Wajahat Habibullah said.
According to him, the alleged case of the mass graves in north Kashmir, which the human rights activists have been raising and seeking international attention to that, was a " fit case to seek information under the RTI."
Kashmiri political leaders of all parties, whether separatists or mainstream have always been al;leging gross human rights violations by security forces and petitioning the global human rights watch groups lioke Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for their intervention.
He was briefly in Jammu while on his way to attend a conference on RTI in Rajouri, a border town, 160 km north of Jammu.
Wajahat Habibullah, 1968 cadre IAS officer, who after his retirement joined as CIC of India, is a man with close ties with Kashmir, where he served as Divisional Commissioner in 1990s, and also initiated discussions with the militants holed up in the Hazrabat shrine in 1993. Before the matter could be resolved, he had met with an accident and suffered serious injuries on November 4, 1993.
He was tipped to be first CIC of Jammu and Kashmir. But the failure of the government of India in finding a successor to him, made him to change his mind. " Now, I am not coming to Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
Reflecting on the current situation in the Valley, where he himself had been caught in gun battles in 1990s, Wajahat said that the loss of the officers like Captains and Majors was an " alarming thing."
" This is happening after a long time," he said and felt that the only way to stop all this was to " engage with Pakistan".
'Pakistan alone can stop it, because it is being done by Pakistan."