UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Pakistan on Tuesday called on the United Nations to open an investigation into the situation in Indian Kashmir. Pakistan’s top diplomat accused New Delhi of turning the region into “the world’s largest prison” and warned of “genocide”.
It chose Pakistan to resort to the United Nations about the worsening relations with India on Kashmir, where he called Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Tuesday to open a UN probe on the situation in the Indian part. “The people of Jammu and Kashmir from India fear the worst,” he said. “I am afraid of the idea of mentioning the word genocide here, but I have to.”
The Indian army has carried out a security operation in Kashmir since August 5 in anticipation of unrest, while New Delhi canceled the autonomy enjoyed by the region. Mobile and Internet networks remain cut off in all but several pockets of the Region.
“Over the past six weeks, India has turned Jammu and occupied Kashmir into the largest prison in the world,” he said. “A disaster is about to happen,” he said.
He accused India of arresting more than 6,000 people, many of whom were transferred to “prisons across India,” referring to reports of “public torture” of Indian soldiers.
Pakistan urges response to OHCHR recommendations on Kashmir
He urged the minister to respond to the recommendations of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her predecessor Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein and open an international investigation into the situation in Indian Kashmir.
In several reports, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for the establishment of a commission of inquiry, one of the highest-level UN investigations usually devoted to major crises such as the conflict in Syria.
Qureshi said the council should “take steps to bring to justice the perpetrators of human rights violations in Kashmir and establish a commission of inquiry in this context.”
“If India has nothing to hide, it should allow the commission of inquiry to have unhindered access” to the region and information, he said, stressing that Islamabad is ready to allow any UN commission to reach the Pakistani side of the so-called “Line of Control” separating the two sides.
The Human Rights Council session lasts until September 27. The Pakistani minister called on diplomats to discuss the issue of Indian Kashmir.
At the opening of the council’s session Monday, Bachelet reiterated her “deep concern at the recent steps of the Indian government in terms of the rights of Kashmiris, particularly with regard to Internet restrictions, peaceful assembly and the arrest of local political leaders and activists.”
She urged India “in particular to ease the embargo and blockades to ensure that people have access to basic services and (ensure) respect for all due process rights of detainees.”
The conflict in Kashmir, which has been divided between India and Pakistan since 1974, has caused two major wars and countless clashes between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.
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