By News Desk
UNITED NATIONS, Geneva—The strong statement by the top UN diplomat for human rights on India’s role in Kashmir continues to resonate internationally. Four top Kashmiri delegates to the 33rd session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva joined rights defenders from around the world in singling out Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein for praise.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights blasted India for excessive killings in Kashmir, asked India to allow a UN mission to meet Kashmiri victims, and demanded an independent international probe into the role of Indian army in the disputed region.
This position by the UN was the first at this scale in possibly half-century, and is a major setback for India’s international diplomacy.
Kashmiri delegates Altaf Hussein Wani and Sardar Amjad Youssef Khan took to the podium to encourage the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to sustain pressure on India for its violations in Kashmir.
Mounting the Kashmiri diplomacy, senior All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) leaders Syed Faiz Naqshbandi and Hassan Banna separately met the Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Kate Gilmore.
Wani, addressing the UN Human Rights Council during General Debate, singled out UN High Commissioner for praise: “Not only did the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have the distinction of addressing the first session of the second decade of the Council, he has also done a great service to the international humanitarian system by addressing a key issue: how growing number of powerful countries refuse to give access to OHCHR and other human rights mechanisms.”
Wani added, “We call upon the Govt. of India to fulfil its international responsibilities and cooperate with the International human rights machinery, the Human Rights Council, the high commissioner and his office and the special rapporteurs in Kashmir”.
Sardar Amjad Youssef appealed to important member States of the Council “not to sacrifice human ideals at the altar of business deals with India.”
“This council has a moral responsibility,” Amjad added, “to speak and act for the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, since Kashmir is a United Nations recognized disputed territory.”
Amjad told the president of the Council that any delay in addressing the situation in Kashmir could worsen tensions in the region and get “out of control.”
In a separate meeting with the Deputy High Commissioner Kate Gilmore, senior Hurriyet leader Faiz Naqshbandi endorsed her on High Commissioner’s demand for an independent international investigation into Kashmir killings. Kashmiri rights activists stand ready to assist the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in collecting facts on the ground in the disputed territory to help the UN deal with India, Naqshbandi added.
The eight-member Kashmir Delegation for UNHRC’s 33rd session consists of Altaf Hussain Wani-Delegation leader and senior Kashmir freedom leader, senior APHC leaders-Syed Faiz Naqshbandi and Hassan Banna, Sardar Amjad Youssef Khan-Executive Director Kashmir Institute Of International Relations (KIIR), senior woman Kashmiri leader Mrs. Shamim Shawl, Ahmed Quraishi-Executive Director Youth Forum For Kashmir (YFK); an International Lobbying Group, Prof. Shagufta Ashraf-Human rights defender working with women & children and Atia Anwer-Human rights defender.
Youth Forum For Kashmir (YFK) is Pakistan’s first pro-Kashmir, registered and nonpartisan International lobbying group led by young Kashmiris and Pakistanis working to ensure justice to Kashmiris living under Indian-military occupation.