BY SUMIT SAXENA
New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) While Pakistan is trying to rake up at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) the question of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir, it is conveniently ignoring the large-scale human rights violations being carried out by its forces in Gilgit-Baltistan, which is a part of J&K under Pakistani occupation, as also in Balochistan.
The 42nd session of the UNHRC is slated to begin on Monday and end on September 27. Pakistan is most likely to move a resolution on Kashmir before September 19, and India is set to counter it.
The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva.
At the session, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is expected to lead the charge against India.
“Pakistan is a desperate nation and their game is up,” said Vishnu Prakash, a retired Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer who has served in Pakistan.
“It (Pakistan) is completely ignoring human rights violations of minorities within its border. Moreover, it is committing human rights violations in Gilgit-Baltistan, which is a Pakistan-occupied territory (of J&K).”
He also referred to atrocities being committed on the Baloch people in Balochistan province.
Ever since the abolition of special status of J&K, granted under Article 370, Pakistan has been attempting to push Kashmir issue at every international platform. It got the issue raised, through its “all-weather friend” China, at the UN Security Council last month but failed to elicit any formal statement from the world body.
Now Pakistan feels UNHRC is a significant platform to rake up the matter, which India has been maintaining is its internal matter
The UNHRC is made up of 47 United Nations Member States. These states are elected by the UN General Assembly.
“Pakistan has been exporting terror to J&K since 1989. The international community will not pay heed to the loud noise it will create on the alleged violation of human rights in Kashmir. India has a strong record, since Independence, in handling affairs associated with minorities. Pakistan has none,” Prakash told IANS.
Team India will emphasize on the fact that not a single life has been lost in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of the Article 370, especially from armed forces perspective.
He also cited Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan Statement in the US where he went on record admitted having 30,000 to 40,000 terrorists on its soil. “Until we came into power, the governments did not have the political will, because when you talk about militant groups, we still have about 30,000-40,000 armed people who have been trained and fought in some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir,” Pakistani Prime Minister had said sometime back.
Prakash, who retired after serving as Indian Ambassador to Canada, said he is very confident that Indian delegation at UNHRC will give a fitting reply to Pakistan.
(Sumit Saxena can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)