NEW DELHI: The UN report makes no bones about the fact that it deals mainly with the Indian-administered Kashmir. The reason for this one-sided view focus is also spelt out: “The quantity and quality of information available on Indian-Administered Kashmir contrast significantly to Pakistan-Administered Kashmir. Despite challenges, NGOs, human rights defenders and journalists are able to operate in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir …(while) Restrictions on the freedoms of expression, opinion, peaceful assembly and association in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan have limited the ability of observers… to assess the human rights situation there.”
Col. Anil Athale, a Pune-based columnist and war historian, says the mosques and mullahs are playing a major role in causing this problem“Islamophobia in the rest of the world is further fuelling this, and then there’s Pakistani perfidy. The Indian forces exercise the utmost restraint. Forget about the Pakistani side. We should just tell the UN that we have legal processes, rule of law, and violators are punished. We have secessionist violence, fuelled from outside, and we are using as far as possible minimal force. The UN has no business in interfering in our affairs.”
Athale asserts India shouldn’t take cognizance of the UN report. “If today it is Kashmir, tomorrow they could talk about violence against Naxalites. Actually, it is time that we withdraw the Kashmir issue from the UN. After all we initiated it, and we have every right to withdraw.” Both the opposition and the ruling parties are united in their opposition to the report. “We reject the UN report as a prejudiced attempt by vested interests to hurt India’s sovereignty and national interests,” says Congress leader Randeep Surjewala.
“Congress supports the government’s stand in dismissing the report. The UNHRC prepared this report remotely with zero understanding of situation. How does the report justify terrorism by self-styled militants of Jaish and Hizbul? Should the UN overlook the state-sponsored terrorism being exported by Pakistan?”
Anil Baluni, Rajya Sabha MP of BJP, also dismisses the report as prejudiced and bereft of facts. “If at all anyone is violating human rights, it’s Pakistan. It has been exporting terrorism in the Valley. We, as per Indian traditions, even protect animals and birds. Thus, there’s no question of human rights violation.”