Kashmiri delegation appeals UNHRC to appoint a Special Representative for J&K

Geneva: The Kashmir Delegation to United Nations Human Rights Council has requested the world’s top rights body to appoint a Special Representative for Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the worsening human rights and political situation in the region.

“My organization would request the Council for appointment of Special Representative on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir so that facts may come to light,” Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, Convener All Parties Hurriyat Conference, the umbrella organization of pro-freedom Kashmiri political parties, told member states of the Council here on Friday.

His statement comes as the United Nations ends its 50-year silence on Kashmir with three policy statements at Human Rights Council in September, March and June, all chastising India for gross human rights violations in Kashmir.

Senior woman leader from Indian-occupied Kashmir, Mrs. Shamim Shawl, in her speech to UNHRC session said, “The use of pellet guns blinding and killing people is a gross violation both under international humanitarian law and international law. The use of lethal pellets guns has created an atmosphere of threat and fear among young generation”

She informed the Council about the case of Adil Farooq Magrey, a Grade 12 student killed by Indian army in Shopian on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. The Indian soldiers involved in the murder belong to the 44 Rashtriya Rifles unit.

Sardar Amjad Yousaf Khan, the executive director of Kashmir Institute for International Relations, commended the top UN rights chief for his policy statement on Kashmir.

“My organization welcomes the update by the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where he mentioned his request to the Governments of India and Pakistan to invite teams from the office of the High Commissioner to examine the situation of human rights on both sides of the temporary ceasefire line known as the LOC,” Yousaf said.

He also welcomed the statement made by the permanent representative of Pakistan. “We also welcome the statement made by Pakistan to facilitate the team from the OHCHR and his request to India to facilitate the UN mission. This mission is critical because of the deteriorating situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir,” Yousaf said.

The Kashmir Delegation is led by a senior Kashmir freedom leader from Indian-occupied Kashmir, Altaf Hussain Wani. In his speech to the Council, Wani drew the diplomats’ attention to the crackdown on the Kashmiri civil society and restrictions on holding peaceful assembly.

During the first five months of 2017, at least 40 people were killed and hundreds injured in different incidents in Kashmir involving the Indian occupation army.
Pertinently, the United Nations is witnessing quick developments on Kashmir conflict. The latest one is the floating of a proposal to appoint a UN special representative for Jammu and Kashmir. The move is in its initial stages. Several countries are involved in private discussions on the proposal, and a lot depends on Pakistan’s ability to leverage its influence.

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