Pakistan Has ‘Illegally Occupied’ Our Territory: India At UNHRC

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir is an “integral part” of India and Pakistan has “illegally occupied a part of our territory”, said India’s permanent representative to United Nations, Ajit Kumar, on Thursday. “The neutrality of the phrase ‘Indian Administered Kashmir’ is, therefore, artificial,” Kumar said at the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“The state of Jammu and Kashmir has an elected democratic government that represents all sections of the people, unlike the situation in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir,” Kumar said in a statement. He also asked “why the UN High Commissioner had maintained a silence in a debate regarding Pakistan using terrorism as an instrument of state policy”. “The central problem in Jammu and Kashmir is cross-border terrorism.”

On February 27, while addressing the UNHRC, Pakistan’s Law Minister had described India as the “occupying power” that was allegedly brutalising the people of Kashmir. Responding to the allegations, Kumar on March 1 had said, “it was Pakistan who was carrying out cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir to destabilise the situation there.”

BSF, Pak Rangers ‘Agree To Maintain Peace’

The Indian and Pakistani border guards held sector commander level flag meeting on International Border in Suchetgarh sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday during which the two sides agreed to maintain peace and tranquillity along the border in the State.

A BSF official said on request of Pakistan Rangers, a sector commander level flag meeting was held at IB in Suchetgarh area today.

The 18-member BSF delegation was led by DIG BSF Jammu Sector P S Dhiman while Brig Amjad Hussain, Sector Commander Chenab Rangers led the Pakistan delegation comprising 18 officers including 3 Wing Commanders.

In the flag meeting, which lasted for about two hours, the BSF officials raised various issues including cross-border firing, facilitation of infiltration attempts by Pakistani troops and detection of tunnel along the border, the BSF official said.

He said the infiltration attempt on October 18/19 in Bobiya Sector in Hira Nagar sector, snipping of Constable Gurnam Singh, detection of tunnel along IB in Ramgarh sector, infiltration attempts by militants from across IB and firing in Ramgarh sector and other sectors figured prominently during the flag meeting.

The official said there have been increased attempts by militants from across the border to sneak into the State from IB in Jammu region. “We have foiled numerous infiltration attempts in Jammu region.”

“The BSF officials also raised with Pakistan Rangers the issue of J&K police constable Sohan Lal, who had crossed to Pakistan inadvertently in 2014, and demanded that he should be sent back,” the BSF official said.

He said other issues related to border management and cross-border smuggling were also discussed.

According to the official, the BSF officers told the Pakistani Rangers to respect the November 2002 border ceasefire agreement.

“Our officials told them that if they violate the border ceasefire and fire on our pickets and civilian areas, we will give befitting response,” he said.

The BSF official said during the meeting, which was the first sector commander level deliberations between two border guarding forces since October, both sides agreed for expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in the earlier meeting and committed to each other to maintain peace and tranquillity at International Border.

The meeting, he said was held in a cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere.

“The two sides decided to re-energize instant communication between field commanders, whenever required, to resolve the petty matters,” added the BSF official.

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