Islamabad, September 15, 2020 (PPI-OT): While welcoming the remarks by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms Michelle Bachelet, the Foreign Office has said that the high commissioner’s remarks reinforce the serious concerns that have been repeatedly expressed by Pakistan, international media and global human rights organisations.
Speaking at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council opened in Geneva, the high commissioner, while presenting an oral update on human rights situation around the world, also touched upon the Indian illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
It has been more than a year since my last report – In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, incidents of military and police violence against civilians continue, including use of pellet guns, as well as incidents related to militancy. Major legal changes – including to the Constitution and domicile rules – are generating deep anxiety, but the space for political debate and public participation continues to be severely restricted, particularly since new media rules have prohibited vaguely defined ‘anti-national’ reporting, she stated.
While she said she welcomed the release of some political and community leaders, “hundreds of people remain in arbitrary detention, with many habeas corpus petitions still pending – including those of many of Jammu and Kashmir’s political leaders.” Bachelet welcomed the initiatives to extend services to remote areas, and the recent conditional restoration of full internet connectivity in two districts which should be applied promptly to the rest of IIOJK.
Commenting on the engagement of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with Pakistan and India, with reference to upholding the rights of Kashmiris, she said, “My Office is committed to continuing its engagement with both India and Pakistan, to uphold the rights of the Kashmiri people – which is the best way to prevent further tensions and conflict.”
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