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Biased new UN rights chief Bachelet ignores J&K realities
Real problem in Jammu
9/12/2018 11:25:44 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Sept 12: The new chief of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)/ UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet first address UNHRC has shocked India. Addressing the UNRC, Michelle Bachelet not just praised the Supreme Court of India for decriminalizing same-sex relations between consenting adults but also slammed India for lack of any "meaningful improvement" on addressing issues highlighted in the UN report on human rights violations in Kashmir.
The former Chilean president succeeded Zeid Raad al Hussain as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights this month. In her opening remarks at the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Bachelet said the people of Kashmir had the same rights to justice and dignity as people all over the world. "The people of Kashmir have exactly the same rights to justice and dignity as people all over the world and we urge authorities to respect them," she said.
She, in addition, reiterated the UNHRC's request for unconditional access to Kashmir on either side of the Line of Control. "The Office of the HRC continues to request permission to visit both sides of the LoC, and in the meantime, will continue its monitoring and reporting," she said.
In his report to the UN Human Rights Council in June, Bachelet's predecessor Zeid Hussain had sought an "establishment of a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir" and asked the Governments of India to "fully respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law".
However, India reacted sharply to the report and called it "fallacious, tendentious and motivated". New Delhi had lodged a strong protest with the United Nations. "The report violates India's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state through aggression," the Ministry of External Affairs had said.
It is clear that the new UN rights chief Bachelet, like her predecessor Zeid hussain, has ignored the realities as they exist in Jammu & Kashmir. She has ignored the fact that it is Kashmir and Kashmiri leaders, who ruled the state during all these years of the state's accession to India. Leave aside the period, when the state remained under Governor's rule and President's Rule because of serious law and problem and break-down of constitutional machinery. All the Chief Ministers of the state till date have been from Kashmir belonging to majority community. It is Kashmir that held almost all the important portfolios and dominated, and dominates, civil secretariat, the seat of power. But more than that, it was Kashmir that held the vital Home portfolio during all these years.
The real problem is in Jammu, and not in Kashmir. It is Jammu which houses almost 2 million Hindu and Sikh refugees. They are from Pakistan, Pakistan-occupied-Jammu & Kashmir and Kashmir. They are all victims of radicalization. The life of the refugees from Pakistan is all the more miserable as they do not have any right in Jammu & Kashmir. They are considered by the state government as "non-state subjects" and, hence, not entitled to any citizenship right in the state. Then there are 100s of Valmikis, Gurkhas and Bazigars living in Jammu since decades. They, like the refugees from Pakistan, also have no citizenship rights in the state. They can't participate in the assembly, panchayat and Urban local bodies' elections. It is these two million Hindu-Sikh refugees whose life is not one of political, social and economic aspirations. They needed special attention and care. But the UN rights chief sided with those who had violated the human rights of these two million refugees.
It is a matter of grave concern that the UNHRC is biased in favour of those who violate human rights of minorities in the state and biased against those whose rights are being ruthlessly violated by the state itself.
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