New York (Agencies): Pakistan on Wednesday reaffirmed its full support to the call by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office for an investigation of the gross and systematic human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), saying the situation in the disputed state had now become “dire”.
“The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, being the premier UN human rights body, must be assisted in executing its mandate effectively, and by implementing its own recommendations and reports, especially the ones on Kashmir,” the outgoing Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi told the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues.
The Pakistani envoy was reacting to the UN High Commissioner Michele Bachelet’s annual report in which she expressed concern over the rising human rights violations by some UN member states.
Since the past two months, people of IOK have been suffering under a repressive lockdown and curfew. Food and medical supplies are becoming scarce due to the absence of logistical support.
Thanking High Commissioner Bachelet for drawing attention to the growing human rights abuses, Ambassador Lodhi said: “Today, nowhere is this grim reality more stark and chilling than in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.”
Lodhi also welcomed the high commissioner’s statement at the recent session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva in which Bachelet said that the impact of the restrictions imposed by the Government of India including restrictions on communication, peaceful assembly and the detention of local political leaders and activists is of deep concern.
“The high commissioner was right in stressing that it was important to consult and engage the people of Kashmir in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future,” Lodhi said.
“Madam Bachelet is not alone in expressing concern over the dire situation in occupied Kashmir,” Ambassador Lodhi said, referring to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ statement on August 8.
“The position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the (UN) Charter…and applicable Security Council resolutions,” she said quoting the UN secretary-general’s statement.