India and Pakistan Clash at New Session of UNHRC in Geneva
India, Pakistan Flags| File Image | (Photo Credits: PTI)

Within a day of the new session of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, representatives of India and Pakistan have clashed over human rights in Kashmir.

In her opening statement, the new human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet had highlighted the lack of action taken on the report on Kashmir by her predecessor. Piggy backing on Bachelet’s statement, Pakistan on Tuesday said that it shared Bachelet’s “anguish” over Kashmir and lent its support to her demand for implementing the report’s recommendations.

Responding to the comments, First Secretary Mini Devi Kumam in a statement on Wednesday said India rejected Pakistan’s “futile efforts to rake up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, including through repeated references to the motivated and fallacious report” rejected by India. “The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India,” she said.

Rejecting Pakistan’s attempt to rake up the Jammu and Kashmir issue, India wondered if it was not an irony that a country, which protected and sheltered global terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar, was raising human rights concerns.

‘’Even as we approach 10 years of Mumbai terrorist attacks, their perpetrators continue to roam freely in Pakistan. The fact that UN proscribed terrorist entities and individuals actively campaigned and contested in the recently held elections reflects the deplorable state of affairs in Pakistan.”

The biggest challenge facing India was “unrelenting” cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, said Kumam, questioning its “dismal” human rights record. India rejected the reference to Jammu and Kashmir made by Pakistan on behalf of the 53-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, saying it has “no locus standi to comment on the internal affairs of India”.

She said no amount of ‘hyperbole’ could hide the dismal human rights record of Pakistan, which has been systematically violating the rights and freedoms of people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), including exploitation of their natural resources. Extrajudicial killings and disappearances in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa continue to be the order of the day.