Pakistan briefs UN expert on India’s ill-treatment of Kashmiris
UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan informed an independent UN human rights expert that Indian security forces in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) were involved in torture and ill-treatment but had been denying facts and responsibility.
In an interactive dialogue with the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, Pakistani diplomat Saima Saleem asked him how the Indian forces could be held accountable for the torture.
She also wondered whether an international commission of inquiry, proposed by the UN high commissioner for human rights for IIOJK, could help end the culture of impunity to prevent endemic torture.
In response, Melzer said that human rights experts could not answer that question, rather the “security council should deal with this.”
“While the normative and institutional mechanisms were there for accountability, due to power politics and the lack of will, these are not utilised,” he went on to say.
The exchange took place on Tuesday in the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, cultural and Humanitarian issues.
Before posing her questions, Saleem, a counsellor in the Pakistan Mission to the UN, said that torture and ill-treatment continue to be practised with almost complete impunity in various parts of the world, particularly in IIOJK.
“Systematic denial, obfuscation, deliberate obstruction, and purposeful evasion of accountability of Indian occupation forces in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, has resulted in the widespread use of torture on innocent men, women, and children,” she said.
“The occupation forces, who are perpetrating torture, indulge in all three patterns of denial identified by the special rapporteur, i.e. denial of facts, responsibility, and wrongfulness,” said Saleem.
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