UNHCR Head Says ‘Remote Monitoring’ Kashmir Situation

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GENEVA: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein says that his office has been forced to undertake “remote monitoring of the human rights situation in Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).

During his update presented in the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights said both India and Pakistan have shown reluctance to “engage with my Office on the human rights concerns I have raised in recent months” and refusal “to grant access to Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control to verify the worrying developments that continue to be reported there”.

The UN High Commissioner said his office was undertaking remote monitoring “with a view to making the findings public in the near future”.

In its reply, the Indian representative made a speech about the merits of democracy but didn’t respond to the UN commissioner’s annoyance over the non-cooperation by Indian side with regard to the LoC situation monitoring.

Replying to comments by the Human Rights Commissioner, Pakistan’s permanent representative at Geneva said that Pakistan never had any objection to any international body visiting its side of the border and was more than willing to facilitate any such visit but asked why the High Commissioner was continuously comparing Indian side of Jammu & Kashmir with Pakistani side of Kashmir. 

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