UN Chief Declines Civil Society Group’s Invite to Kashmir

SRINAGAR — United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has declined an invitation to visit conflict ridden Kashmir during his upcoming India trip by an influential civil society group based in Srinagar.

Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) had formally invited UN Secretary General to Kashmir during his ensuing visit to India in the first week of October.

“We have received a response from the office of the Secretary General and he has regretted his inability to visit Kashmir,” KCSDS said in a statement sent to Kashmir Observer.

“I would like to thank for your letter, dated 27-09-2018, inviting the Secretary-General to visit Kashmir during his upcoming visit to the Republic of India in October 2018,” Yasmine Hassan, Executive Office of the Secretary-General,  United Nations Headquarters said in her reply to KCSDS.

“The Secretary-General appreciates your kind invitation. Regrettably, he will be unable to accept your invitation, owing to prior commitments and pressing demands already scheduled during his visit. Allow me to take this opportunity to convey his best wishes,” the letter added. 

KCSDS in its invitation letter to UN Chief had stated, “As you are visiting India at a time of grave crisis in the  disputed State of Jammu and Kashmir, the civil society—Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) considers it a great  opportunity to invite you to visit Kashmir to have a first-hand information and experience  of the ground reality of Kashmir and the ‘ordered and monitored disorder’  with the highest military concentration armed with AFSPA, the most draconian illegal lawless  law, which is presented as a natural  democratic order before the world community.

“The  gross human rights violations, crimes against humanity and the dire need to let the people of Kashmir rights violations, crimes against humanity and the dire need to let the people exercise their right to self determination has been comprehensively covered by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights  for which we will be eternally thankful to you though it came too late yet it is never too late as Kashmir, the paradise on earth, continues to smoulder and  burn.”

The letter further said that. “So far there has been no affirmative action by the Govt of India on the ground in response to your detailed report, as desired by  the world body. Instead it  has been in  firm  denial of any wrong -doing in Kashmir, flying in the face of hard incontrovertible evidence and only clinging to the integral party mantra. You are aware of the fact how instead Indian Govt and its various agencies dismissed the report with disdain and arrogance of power and levelled allegations against your commissioner. We greatly appreciate your sticking to your guns and reiterating the authenticity of  the report not only by the former, Zeid Raad Al Hussein but by the incumbent Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet and the owning of it  holistically by you as  the report of UN  and not by a single person. We recognise and hugely appreciate the stentorian voice you have raised through this report for  the suffering humanity in Kashmir. Your personal visit could be a great boost to the suppressed people  and serve to confirm with greater vigour what  your office has already found out and is now  widely known. Your visit could pressurise the Indian state to take affirmative action on the ground of Kashmir, put a stop to gross human rights violations at political, economic, civil, cultural and environmental level carried through  unprecedented deployment of  military forces and its own delegated bureaucrats which is a new norm of people’s rule (democracy) in Indian Lexicon. It is the long standing issue on UN Agenda as it is committed to its resolution to the satisfaction of the majority of people in the state.”  

The letter concluded by reiterating, the invite saying, “Please take the opportunity and make it your moral passion to help us out of the brutal impasse in which we are caught. We hope you will  accede to our request, accept our invitation and pay a visit to this blighted land  for serving the cause of human rights and eternal human values, right to self determination being the centrepiece of dignified human existence”.

Read Also: UN Chief Concerned Over Kashmir Situation

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