At UN rights body, India raises Pakistan’s excesses in Balochistan

Islamabad had raised the issue of Kashmir unrest and alleged human rights violations at the UNHRC.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: September 15, 2016 8:10 am
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India’s strong response at the UNHRC follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statements at the all-party meeting and the Independence Day last month.

India Wednesday raised Pakistan’s human rights violations in Balochistan at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, while responding to the charges of its own track record in Kashmir. Islamabad had raised the issue of Kashmir unrest and alleged human rights violations at the UNHRC.

Exercising its second right to reply, India said Wednesday, “Pakistan has alleged human rights violations in India. Our credentials as a peaceful, democratic, pluralistic society that is deeply committed to the welfare of its people are well established. On the contrary, Pakistan is characterised by authoritarianism, absence of democratic norms and widespread human rights violations across the country, including Balochistan. The institutions of governance in Pakistan have corroded to such an extent that it has become a hub for the global export of terror.”

In its first right to reply, it had said that Pakistan has once again sought to mask its territorial ambitions and use of terrorism as a state policy under the garb of concern for human rights. “This is a country, which has systematically abused and violated the human rights of its own citizens, including in Balochistan, as well as of the people of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. While advocating restraint to others, it has no hesitation in using air power against its own people,” the Indian statement said.

India’s strong response at the UNHRC follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statements at the all-party meeting and the Independence Day last month. The verbal duel has been continuing with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif sending envoys to more than 20 countries to highlight their point of view.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Tehmina Janjua, said that J&K is an international issue recognised as such by a number of UNSC resolutions. “Despite the broad-based indigenous nature of the latest uprising … India continues to cast aspersions on its indigenous nature. But this is hardly surprising as it is the characteristic of oppressive regimes to label those struggling for their rights as terrorists.”

India Wednesday said it has shared evidence of terrorists who came from across the border with instructions to target the security forces by mingling with protesting crowds and using them as human shields.

“Terrorism, I would emphasise, is the most egregious violation of human rights,” India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the UN in Geneva, Ajit Kumar, said during the General Debate on the oral update by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights during the 33rd Session of Human Rights Council. India’s statement came in reaction to remarks by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on the situation in J&K.