Pakistan Wants UN Team To Visit Both Parts Of Kashmir

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan on Thursday expressed its willingness to receive the United Nations’ Commission of Inquiry (COI) in its part of Kashmir, but impliedly again conditioned it with New Delhi also agreeing to the commission’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan was ready for a commission of inquiry to visit both Pakistan controlled Azad Kashmir and Indian controled Kashmir, Foreign Office spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said at the weekly media briefing apparently linking the acceptance of the commission to its visits to both parts of Kashmir, Dawn reported on Friday.

Mr Faisal exhorted India to accept the commission.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein had called for setting up of a Commission of Inquiry, the UN’s highest-level probe, to investigate human rights violations in Kashmir.

The call followed the first report on Kashmir by the Office of the High Comm¬i-ssioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The report that pointed to impunity for rights abuses and lack of access to justice in Indian part of Kashmir; and certain administrative, constitutional and legislative issues related to Pakistani Kashmir, was welcomed by Islamabad, but rejected by New Delhi.

The report had mentioned that neither India nor Pakistan allowed unconditional access to territories under their control for investigations for preparation of the document.

The findings were then based on “remote monitoring of the situation” in the two parts of Kashmir. India had refused to allow the UN visit, while Pakistan linked its permission to India allowing the UN team to tour held Kashmir.

The spokesman challenged India to allow the UN team to access the occupied valley. “India can address its claims of the (OHCHR) report being based on unverified information by allowing the COI and OIC Independent Permanent Hum¬an Rights Commission access to held Kashmir.”

Mr Faisal further said: “The isolation of India in the international community is complete. The skeletons in Indian closet are growing in numbers and size.” The spokesman further asked the Indian government to hold an independent, transparent and credible probe into the assassination of Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari.

“The Indian government remains fearful of international exposition of the brutalisation of occupied Jammu & Kashmir. India can run, but can it hide? This remains to be seen,” he added.

Geelani Welcomes Pak Decision

Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani has welcomed the decision of Pakistan to allow United Nations Commission for assessment of human rights in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

 “It is a welcome development that Pakistan has agreed to allow UNHRC to visit Azad Kashmir as proposed in a recent UN report to Pakistan-administered Kashmir,” Geelani said in a statement said.

He welcomed the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report’s recommendation for an independent, International Commission of Inquiry on Kashmir.

“It is a welcome step,” said Geelani, adding India must not shy away from this international obligation if it has nothing to hide.

Geelani expressed his satisfaction over the UNHRC report about the “detailed atrocities perpetrated by Indian forces, SOG, and other armed personnel in occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.

“Until Kashmir issue is resolved, the dance of death and destruction will not end,” Hurriyat (G) chairman said and stressed upon the world body to fulfill its commitments made to the people through the implementation of its Security Council resolutions.

He urged the UN General Secretary to use his good offices to take steps for the peaceful resolution of Kashmir and for putting an end to bloodshed in the state. He expressed hope that world leadership will play a positive role regarding Kashmir dispute by taking practical steps towards finding its solution.

Meanwhile, Geelani expressed his deep grief over civilian killings in Srigufwara, Anantnag and extended his condolences to the bereaved family of slain civilian Mohammad Yusuf Rather.

He paid tributes to slain “brave-hearts” and blamed “stubborn attitude” of Indian authorities for continuous bloodshed.

“Since last several decades, people in the state are facing a war-like situation. People are facing extreme situations and are braving bullets, pellets, and atrocities at the hands of arrogant forces,” he said.

“India is pushing youth to the wall and compelling them to take extreme steps,” Geelani said.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat (G) on Friday staged a protest against the civilian killings and unabated human rights violations, at Hyderpora here.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat (G) spokesperson said Syed Ali Geelani was not allowed to offer Friday congregational prayers.

“Geelani is not being allowed to offer Friday prayers since past 8 years and his residence has been turned into a jail,” he said adding that the pro-freedom leader was stopped after he defied house arrest restrictions.

“The police posted outside his residence did not allow him to venture out to offer Friday prayers,” he said, adding, “We will never surrender or succumb to pressure but will pursue our cherished mission till it is taken to its logical conclusion.”


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