India terms United Nations report on Kashmir human rights ‘fallacious and motivated’

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The report was the first by the United Nations to spotlight human rights abuses in the Himalayan territory disputed by India and Pakistan, which U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein called "a conflict that has robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering". "We question the intent in bringing out such a report", its foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement. It is a selective compilation of largely unverified information.

Indian and Pakistani security forces used excessive force in both sides of Kashmir, killing and wounding civilians since 2016, the United Nations said on Thursday and called for an worldwide inquiry into alleged violations.

Ilyas Zargar, a 29-year-old resident of Srinagar, also welcomed the report, and called on the United Nations to "hold India accountable for the daily human rights violations in Kashmir" through a real enquiry into abuses. Dubbing the report as "fallacious, tendentious and motivated", India said it violated India's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"This proposal is consistent with Pakistan's several calls to this effect since 2016, even as India has continued to ignore legitimate demands for probe into gross and systematic violations, including pellet guns, excessive use of force, arbitrary arrest and detentions as well as continued sexual violence as part of overall impunity enjoyed by Indian security forces", the handout read.

Adding that "people on both sides of the Line of Control have been detrimentally impacted and suffer from limitations or denial of a range of human rights", the report also asked neighbouring country Pakistan to end its "misuse" of anti-terror legislation to quash dissent.

Among its recommendations, the report calls on India and Pakistan to fully respect their worldwide human rights law obligations in Indian administered and Pakistan administered Kashmir.

This is for the first time the UNHRC has issued a report on the alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

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Noting the continuing serious tensions in recent weeks, including those stemming from a series of incidents in Srinagar, he called on Indian security forces to exercise maximum restraint, and strictly abide by global standards governing the use of force when dealing with future protests, including ones that could well occur this coming weekend.

It called for the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1990 (AFSPA), a law that gives security forces immunity from prosecution.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is divided between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, who both claim the mountainous region in full and have fought two of their three wars over it since their separation in 1947.

The report said that India has long accused Pakistan of training and arming militants and helping them infiltrate across the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC) that separates the two sides in the region, a charge Islamabad denies.

"MEA further said", It is disturbing that those behind this report have chosen to describe internationally designated and UN-proscribed terrorist entities as "armed groups" and terrorists as "leaders". "In the almost 28 years that the law has been in force in Jammu and Kashmir there has not been a single prosecution of armed forces personnel granted by the central government", the report says.

India has about 500,000 soldiers in the part of Kashmir it controls, where armed groups are fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan.

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