NEW DELHI: Hitting back at Pakistan's allegations, India highlighted the human rights violations by the neighbour nation at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday.
"There is also a reference to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. There is none to cross-border terrorism. Terrorism is the most fundamental violation of human rights and we overlook its egregiousness at our own peril," said Raj Kumar Chander, the Indian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN offices and other international organisations in Geneva.
Earlier, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra`ad Al Hussein in his annual report and an oral update made a comment on human rights developments in Kashmir at the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Hussein said: "With respect to Kashmir, on both sides of the Line of Control, regrettably unconditional access continues to be refused to my office, and I will report on this issue at greater length in June."
The UNHRC chief also said that he was "increasingly disturbed by discrimination and violence directed at minorities, including Dalits and other Scheduled Castes, and religious minorities such as Muslims in India.
In a Right of Reply filed at the UN Human Rights Council, New Delhi said, “We find that the update does not reflect the situation in India adequately. Selective and tendentious statements on human rights issues only serve to undermine the credibility of this approach.”
Here's the complete statement released by India:
We thank the High Commissioner for Human Rights for presentation of his oral update and annual report.
We find that the update does not reflect the situation in India adequately. Selective and tendentious statements on human rights issues only serve to undermine the credibility of this approach.
Mr. President, the Indian Constitution prohibits the State from discrimination of any citizen on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of these. Along with being the world’s largest democracy, Indian polity also weaves in immense diversity with respect for tolerance and mutual understanding. An independent judiciary, free and vibrant media and a vocal civil society are all active in this regard within the legal framework of the State. National and state level commissions are monitoring compliance with human rights.
Mr. President, there is also a reference to the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir. There is none to cross-border terrorism. Terrorism is the most fundamental violation of human rights and we overlook its egregiousness at our own peril.
Mr. President, My Government has been pursuing welfare of all its citizens with schematic interventions in a systemic approach. The moto of "SabkaSath, SabkaVikas”, i.e. ‘all together and development for all’ is a commitment to our people. Therefore, any assessment of India should factor in its unique national circumstances and be based on the objective realities that point to a comprehensive effort to substantially raise the level of standard of living of all its citizens.
Mr. President, the OHCHR, which is the global voice of equality and non-discrimination and for all human rights for all, completes 25 years of its existence in December this year. The High Commissioner has called for it to be equipped and assisted to respond to several emerging human rights challenges. The 25thanniversary presents us with an appropriate opportunity to review two and a half decades of its functioning and suggest ways to make it more representative, credible and effective in meeting the new challenges.
Thank you,Mr. President.