India raises Baloch, PoK issue at the UN

RSTV Bureau
Srinagar: Security forces personnel on guard during a clash with the protesters after they defied curfew in Srinagar, September 13. 2016. Photo - PTI

Srinagar: Security forces personnel on guard during a clash with the protesters after they defied curfew in Srinagar, September 13. 2016.
Photo – PTI

For the first time ever, India has raised the issue of human rights violations in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) at the United Nations in Geneva.

In a no-holds-barred offensive against Pakistan, India said while advocating restraint to others, Pakistan has no hesitation in using air power against its own people in Balochistan.

At the 33rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council, India launched a scathing attack on Pakistan and accused it of being responsible for the unrest in Kashmir. India said that Pakistan sponsored cross-border terrorism was the reason behind the ongoing protests and violence in the Kashmir Valley.

“The fundamental reason for disturbances in Kashmir is the cross-border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan which has provided active support since 1989 to separatist groups and terrorist elements including those operating from the territory under Pakistan’s control…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,” said Ajit Kumar, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the UN while quoting India’s statement.

India put out its version while exercising its right of reply to the statement made by Pakistan.

“J&K is an integral part of India and will always remain so. We reject attempts by Pakistan to denigrate the democratic choice that has been regularly exercised by the people of J&K,” Kumar added.

“Pakistan also continues to provide sanctuary to UN- designated terrorists. It was, therefore, no surprise that Pakistan failed to convince the international community to secure the membership of the Human Rights Council last year,” he said.

India also strongly rejected Pakistan’s continued misuse of the Council to make tendentious references about internal matters pertaining to the Indian state of J&K, the ambassador said.

Reiterating that the situation in the Valley arose from the death of a self-acknowledged commander of Hizb-ul- Mujahideen terror group, India said it was further aggravated by sustained cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

“The heart of the matter is that we are dealing with a state that regards the use of terrorism as a legitimate instrument of statecraft…The world watches with concern as the consequences of Pakistan’s actions have spread beyond its immediate neighbour. All of us stand prepared to help, if only the creators of this monster wake up to the dangers of what they have done to themselves,” the Indian envoy said.

(With inputs from agencies)