ISLAMABAD: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, said on Monday that he has sought to engage substantively with both India and Pakistan over the past two years regarding the situation in Kashmir, on both sides of the Line of Control.
Refusals by both India and Pakistan to enable unconditional access have led the UN body to conduct remote monitoring, with first report issued last week, he said in a statement. He urged the Human Rights Council in Geneva to consider establishing a commission of inquiry for a more comprehensive investigation of the human rights situation in Kashmir.
“I am saddened by the assassination last week of Shujaat Bokhari, a courageous human rights defender actively working for peace, including through his participation in the ‘Track-Two’ diplomacy seeking to help both India and Pakistan put an end to the violence,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Kashmir delegation to Human Rights Council informally met Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to thank him for his historic role in the release of the first-ever UN report on Kashmir. The report has reaffirmed the international status of Kashmir as a disputed territory and censured India for serious human rights violations in the valley. Al-Hussein made Kashmir history last week when he released a 49-page report on the situation of human rights in Indian occupied Kashmir, paving the way for an international humanitarian intervention. The Kashmir delegation thanked Al-Hussein for his statement in the council where he eulogized Shujaat Bukhari, the top Kashmiri journalist who was assassinated in a suburb of Srinagar known for high Indian military presence. Those who met Al-Hussein included Convener APHC-Pakistan Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, who is from Srinagar, along with Sardar Amjad Yousaf Khan, executive director of Kashmir Institute of International Relations-KIIR from Azad Kashmir, and top freedom leaders Hassan Bana and Advocate Pervez Shah.
The Kashmir delegation is participating in the 38th session of Human Rights Council. The delegation is led by Altaf Hussain Wani, a press release said.
In addition to those who other delegates include senior APHC leader Mrs Shamim Shawl, member academia Tayiba Bashir, and Ahmed Quraishi, executive director, YFK-International Kashmir Lobby Group.