A day after Pakistan tried to internationalise Jammu & Kashmir, India’s internal matter, at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, the UN Secretary-General’s spokesman said on Wednesday that the two South Asian neighbours must resolve any issues linked to the border territory through mutual talks.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres, above right, is concerned about the situation prevailing in India’s northernmost territory, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, adding that the world body will not, however, intervene.
Dujarric was responding to questions at a regular press briefing on whether Guterres plans to mediate on Kashmir during the General Assembly session later this month to be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, above left, and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan.
India has reminded the world time and again that Jammu & Kashmir is its internal matter and no third-party mediation will be allowed to settle any issue related to the region.
The Jammu & Kashmir was under clampdown after India passed a landmark legislation on Aug 5-6 in Parliament to end terrorism in the region sponsored by Pakistan over the past seven decades.
India scrapped Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu & Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two territories under the control of the central government.
The measure was to bring the region to mainstream and give all sections of people living in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh the same rights and privileges enjoyed by citizens elsewhere. It ensured gender equality and right to education, jobs and property to non-Kashmiri Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Hindus living there over decades.
The restrictions on mobility and connectivity are being eased on the basis of the situation prevailing in each area. Daytime restrictions have been lifted in 90% of the region.
India’s foreign ministry officials Vijay Thakur Singh and Vimarsh Aryan explained all this while exposing Pakistan’s lies at UNHRC on Tuesday.
Earlier, in his speech at UNHRC, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi alleged that Jammu & Kashmir was facing the risk of genocide.
He said the region had been turned into “the largest prison on this planet” after the abrogation of Article 370.
He compared Jammu & Kashmir to Rwanda, Srebrenica and the Rohingya.
Knowing well that all democratic nations back India’s latest efforts to bring peace and prosperity in Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan sought the support of members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to make its case stronger in UNHRC.
India’s Singh and Aryan hit back, saying Pakistan is making hysterical and false statements on rights violations in Kashmir as India’s abrogation of Article 370 is creating hurdles in its cross-border terrorism.
Pakistani leaders are trying to instigate violence in Kashmir to create a picture of genocide. But peace has been prevailing in Jammu & Kashmir since early August when its special status was taken away.
Aryan said it is Pakistan and not India that is persecuting minority communities within its own territories. Islamabad’s Kashmir rhetoric is only to divert the world’s attention from the mass rape and murder of religious and ethnic minorities such as Christians, Sikhs, Shias, Ahmadiyas and Hindus in Pakistan.
The latest UN snub has come as another blow to Pakistan which still cannot face the reality that its game over Kashmir has ended with the removal of special status for Jammu & Kashmir.