Geneva: Terrorism is the most deplorable violation of human rights and yet surprisingly, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), in its recent report on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, failed to even mention the menace once, said Yoana Barakova, a research analyst with the Amsterdam-based European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS).
Speaking at the ongoing 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday, Barakova expressed concerns that the report did not mention the cross-border terrorism perpetrated by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. She asserted that the UN designated terrorist organisations and terrorists have been classified as “armed groups” and “leaders”, as many as 38 times.
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 was aghast that the 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.”
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.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) lashed out at the report, terming it as “biased and motivated” and “misleading and mischievous.”