UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has voiced support for the UN human rights chief’s call for an independent international investigation into the human rights situation in Kashmir, saying his action “represents the voice of the UN” on the issue.
“As you can imagine, all the action of the Human Rights High Commissioner is an action that represents the voice of the UN in relation to that issue,” Guterres told reporters at a press conference yesterday.
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He was responding to questions whether he supports an independent international probe into the human rights situation in Kashmir as recommended by High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in his report on Kashmir last month.
India has rejected Al Hussein’s report in which he had called for a commission of inquiry by the Human Rights Council to conduct an independent international investigation into the human rights situation in Kashmir.
India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Tanmaya Lal said this week that the “so-called” report reflects the “clear bias of an official who was acting without any mandate whatsoever and relied on unverified sources of information.”
Lal had said the report “was not even found fit to be considered by the membership of the forum where it was submitted.”
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, responding to the Secretary General’s remarks, said the Human Rights chief’s report was not followed up by anyone in the Human Rights Council.
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“That the High Commissioner for Human Rights represents the UN Secretariat on the issue of human rights is a factual issue. But that his report was not followed up by anyone is also a reality that no one sees it as something they are ready to support. So referring to the report is like flogging a dead horse,” Akbaruddin told PTI.
Guterres was asked by PTI about India’s assertion that Al Hussein was acting without any mandate and that Kashmir is a bilateral issue that needs to be resolved between India and Pakistan.
He said, “one thing is the definition of the mechanism for a political solution of a situation in a country. The other thing is the general mandate of human rights instruments in relation to human rights everywhere.”
“And so what the Human Rights High Commissioner did was the use of its own competencies and capacities, as it does in all other parts of the world, to report on what he considered to be relevant human rights violations.
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“It doesn’t mean that there is in that a preference for any kind of methodology for a political solution. They are two completely different things, and the same applies in relation to the other report,” he said, referring to his report on children and armed conflict.
India has also expressed its disappointment that the Secretary General’s report on children and armed conflict included situations that do not meet the definition of armed conflict or of threat to international peace and security.
The report had mentioned the Indian states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir, saying children continued to be affected by incidents of violence between armed groups and the government, particularly in the three states.
Noting “grave violations”, the report had said three incidents of the recruitment and use of children were reported in Jammu and Kashmir in the context of clashes with national security forces.
“One case was attributed to Jaish-e-Mohammed and two to Hizbul Mujahideen,” the report said, adding that “unverified” reports also indicate the use of children as informants and spies by national security forces.
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The report added that the United Nations also continued to receive reports of the recruitment and use of children, including by the Naxalites, particularly in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
“The other report is a report about situations in which the rights of children have been put into question,” Guterres said.
When asked if he has made any attempt to bring about dialogue between India and Pakistan, Guterres said, “It is clear for me that only political solutions can address political problems.”
He added that whenever he meets the leaders of both India and Pakistan, he always offers his good offices, and “I hope that the future will be able to create the mechanisms of dialogue that will allow for this problem to find also an adequate political solution that the people can benefit from.”
Participating in a Security Council debate on Children and Armed Conflict this week, Lal had said that the UNSC Resolution 1379 requests the Secretary General to report on situations that are on the agenda of the Security Council or that may be brought to the attention of the Security Council by the Secretary General, which in his opinion threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.
“In spite of the clear mandate provided under the UNSC Resolution 1379, we are disappointed that the Report of the Secretary General includes situations, which do not meet the definition of armed conflict or of threat to maintenance of international peace and security,” Lal had said.
Guv reassigns depts to Advisors
Srinagar, Jul 17: Governor Satya Pal Malik Wednesday re-assigned the charge of departments to his Advisors.
As per the order issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), Advisor Vijay Kumar has been assigned charge of the departments of Home, Forest, Ecology & Environment, Health & Medical Education, Youth Services & Sports, Hospitality & Protocol, Civil Aviation, Estates and Information.
Advisor Khurshid A Ganai has been assigned the charge of the departments of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, ARI & Trainings, Cooperative, Floriculture, Tourism, Election, Planning, Development & Monitoring, Labour & Employment and Higher Education.
Advisor, K Skandan has been assigned the charge of the departments of Information Technology, Industries and Commerce, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Ladakh Affairs, Revenue, Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction, Transport and Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs.
Advisor Kewal Kumar Sharma has been assigned the charge of the departments of Public Works (R&B), Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control, Power, Finance, Housing & Urban Development and Science and Technology.
Advisor Farooq Ahmad Khan has been assigned the charge of the departments of School Education, Technical Education, Hajj and Auqaf, Social Welfare, Tribal Affairs, Culture, Agriculture/ Horticulture and Rural Development & Panchayati Raj.
Papers related to General Administration Department shall be submitted by the Chief Secretary directly to Governor.
PDP still believes it will bounce back
Srinagar, Jul 17: A high level meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) leadership from south Kashmir was held at the party head office here in which various crucial issues confronting the state at present were discussed in detail.
Chaired by Party Vice President Abdul Rahman Veeri, the meeting deliberated over various measures that the party has taken in the recent past to widen its reach and make masses aware about its agenda and mission.
Veeri in his address stressed upon the leadership to hold constant contact with the general public and highlight the issues they face on day to day basis and seek their resolution on priority from the concerned quarters.
“Veeri expressed full confidence that the PDP will bounce back in a revitalised form on the state’s political scene and that the party will continue to push for peace with dignity which is the focal point of its agenda,” the party statement read.
He, it added, said that the workers are committed to the agenda of the party and the vision provided by its founder Mufti Sayeed who founded the party in “trying circumstances”.
PDP General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, while addressing the meeting, stated that the party “will continue to pursue it till durable peace is restored and that will never barter interests of the state against petty political gains.”
PDP leader, Sartaj Madni in his address stated that the need of the hour is that the party leadership, functionaries, activists and supporters must work in close coordination and make sustainable efforts in party’s overall growth and impressive performance in the coming time.
The participants of the meeting expressed full confidence in the leadership of the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, resolving in unison to support her each and every endeavour aimed at getting the people out of the cycle of uncertainty and lead the state towards a prosperous future.
Will find, deport all infiltrators in India: HM
New Delhi, Jul 17: The Centre will identify illegal immigrants staying in any part of the country and deport them as per international law, Home Minister Amit Shah said in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The minister was replying to a supplementary query by Samajwadi Party member Javed Ali Khan on whether the National Register of Citizens will be implemented in other states as well.
Currently, the NRC is being updated under the strict monitoring of the Supreme Court in Assam and July 31 has been set as a deadline for final publication of the registered data.
“It is a very good question. The NRC is part of the Assam Accord and was also in (BJP’s) election manifesto based on which the government has come to power. The government will identify illegal immigrants living on every inch of the country’s soil and will deport them as per the international law,” Shah said in the Upper House.
Noting that the Centre has received many representations for extending the NRC deadline in Assam, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said a petition signed by about 25 lakh applicants submitted to the Centre and the President demanded extension to correct anomalies.
Since many genuine names have been left out and many bogus names are registered, the minister said, “So the government has requested the (Supreme) Court to extend the time for this purpose”.
“There will be some delay but the NRC will be implemented properly without any faults,” he said, asserting that the government’s intention is to ensure no genuine citizen is left out of the NRC.
To a query on number of Rohingya Muslims in India, Rai said, “We don’t have an accurate data. They are spread across the country. Some of them have gone back to Bangladesh. We will get the data soon.” The government’s intention is to ensure no illegal immigrant is registered under the NRC. Foreigner tribunals have also been set up to curb illegal stay of foreigners in India, he added.