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14 June 2018, 10:20 | Erica Roy
VK Singh India's Minister of State for External Affairs
There can't be any comparison between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as "the former has a democratically elected government while the latter has seen a Pakistani diplomat arbitrarily appointed as its head", Indian officials have said.
There was no immediate comment from Pakistan to the report issued by the United Nationshuman rights office in Geneva, which called for justice for victims on both sides of the so-called Line of Conflict.
The Congress on Thursday supported the government's stand in dismissing the United Nations report on human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, terming it a "prejudiced attempt" by vested interests to hurt India's sovereignty and national interests.
"The report violates India's sovereignty and territorial integrity".
"Our protest and views in the matter have been conveyed unequivocally to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights".
Raveesh Kumar, spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs, rejected the report, calling it "fallacious, tendentious and motivated" and a "selective compilation of largely unverified information".
However, Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez welcomed the report and the recommendation for a commission of inquiry by the UN Human Rights Council. India's response says " The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. "Government deserves our full support to deal with the report".
The report, which focuses mainly on India-held Kashmir, accuses Indian troops of being responsible for an estimated 145 unlawful killings, far surpassing the 20 people estimated to have been killed by militant groups during that period.
"Instead of making frivolous protests and issuing legally untenable and uncalled for statements, India should take steps to vacate its illegal occupation, fulfill its worldwide obligations and expedite resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in line with the UN Security Council Resolutions", the Spokesman said. We have repeatedly called upon Pakistan to vacate the occupied territories.
In a strong retaliation, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the United Nations report is "overtly prejudiced" and seeks to build a "false narrative", violating India's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"Impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the state of Jammu and Kashmir", the report said. "This proposal is consistent with Pakistan's several calls to this effect since 2016, even as India has continued to ignore legitimate demands for probe into gross and systematic violations, including pellet guns and excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests and detentions, as well as continued sexual violence, as part of the overall impunity enjoyed by Indian security forces", according to a statement from the Pakistan foreign office made available by the high commission in New Delhi. "This undermines the UN-led consensus on zero-tolerance to terrorism", he said. "They should also end the use of repressive laws and respect the right of all people to peacefully express their opinions", said Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India.
"Despite the Government of Pakistan's assertions of denial of any support to these groups, experts believe that Pakistan's military continues to support their operations across the Line of Control in Indian-Administered Kashmir", the report said.
The sections of the PaK interim constitution that limit the rights to freedoms of expression and opinion, and peaceful assembly and association should be amended.
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