The first United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir makes no bones about the fact that it deals mainly with the Indian administered side of the troubled state.
The reason for this one-sided view focus on the Indian side is also spelt out: “The quantity and quality of information available on Indian-Administered Kashmir contrasts 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 war historian and columnist based in Pune, says that “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. Under the law. Besides, the UN has no business in interfering in the internal affairs of our country."
He added, "We should take no cognizance of this report. If today it is Kashmir, tomorrow they could talk about violence against Naxalites in Bastar. 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 it. “
Both the Opposition and the Ruling party have united in their opposition to this patently prejudiced report. “We reject UN Human Rights Report as a prejudiced attempt by vested interests to hurt India's sovereignty and national interests,” said Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
“Congress party supports the government’s stand in dismissing the report. UNHRC prepared this report remotely with zero understanding of situation in J&K. How does the report justify terrorism by self styled militants of JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen? Should the UN overlook the state sponsored terrorism being exported on Indian soil by Pakistan? Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inseparable part of India.”
“We dismiss the report completely as it’s prejudiced and bereft of facts. If at all anyone is violating human rights, it’s Pakistan, which had 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,” concurred Anil Baluni, Rajya Sabha MP of the BJP.