India and Pakistan have already clashed at the UNHRC session in Geneva which was prompted by the new human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s statement on the state of affairs in Kashmir. India’s repartee to Pakistan included its rejection of a recent report by the UN on Kashmir and it had called it "biased and motivated".
Supporting India’s stand at the UNHRC, a representative of the Amsterdam-based European Foundation for South Asian Studies highlighted that the UNHRC report failed to acknowledge the plight of terrorism ravaging Kashmir. Speaking at the ongoing UNHRC session, EFSAS research analyst Yoana Barakova said, “Terrorism is the most deplorable violation of human rights and yet surprisingly, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in its recent report on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, failed to even mention the menace once.”
Barakova expressed concerns that the report did not look at or study the impact of cross-border terrorism perpetrated by Pakistan in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. She asserted that Pakistan houses UN designated terrorist organisations and terrorists and these have been referred to as "armed groups" and "leaders", as many as 38 times in the UNHRC report.
She added, "The adoption of such inappropriate terminology directly contradicts the one used in common UN parlance. The report further states that 'restrictions on the freedom of expression, opinion, peaceful assembly and association in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir (PoK) have limited the ability of the High Commissioner to assess the human rights situation there'."
Barakova says she is aghast that first-hand valuable information provided by human rights activists from PoK, on the threats to their lives and their families was completely disregarded.
She demanded that the office of the High Commissioner carry out due diligence on a report on an issue "as weighty as the one in question, rather than superficially attempt a report with serious methodological, factual and analytical shortcomings, which is based on an artificially imposed timeline which renders its correctness and neutrality highly dubious."
The European Foundation for South Asian Studies is a think-tank looking at international relations, conflict management, human rights, security, diplomacy, strategic affairs and conflict resolution.
In June, a 49-page report prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) was released, calling for a probe into the alleged human rights violations in Kashmir by both India and Pakistan. India’s Ministry of External Affairs had lashed out at the report, terming it as "misleading and mischievous."