Pakistan said on Thursday it will allow the UN to send a team to Pakistan occupied Kashmir, days after India turned down a request by the UN rights council to travel to Jammu and Kashmir to investigate alleged rights violations. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had written to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHRC) Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to “end the persistent and egregious violation of basic human rights of the Kashmiri people”.
An all-party meeting in New Delhi presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week dismissed the UNHRC’s request to visit Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakariya told a weekly briefing that Pakistan welcomes any “UN team that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights may wish to send” to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
The spokesman said Kashmir area governed by Pakistan “is an area open to everyone and is frequented by foreign tourists and members of the diplomatic community in Pakistan, including representatives of the UN”. The UNHRC’s request to visit Jammu and Kashmir was turned down by India on the grounds that the current embroiled in the state was an internal matter and is not an area of intervention for the UNHRC. Jammu and Kashmir has been on the boil since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July 2016. Clashes between security forces and protestors has resulted in the death of 66 people.