United Nations human rights body concerned over NRC, Kashmir

Shahid Afridi urges all to join PM Imran in Muzaffarabad to raise voice for Kashmir

Ties between India and Pakistan are "less heated" now compared to the situation two weeks ago, US President Donald Trump said on Monday, reiterating his offer to help the two South Asian neighbours resolve bilateral issues only if they both want help with mediation.

On Friday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan threatened "fullest possible response" to India's moves in Jammu and Kashmir.

On the sidelines of the G7 summit, Trump raised the issue of occupied Kashmir with Modi expressing hope that something positive would come out of talks between Pakistan and India. But, the rest of her remarks were only about the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, which will soon become two union territories based on an Act of parliament.

She pointed among other things to "restrictions on internet communications and peaceful assembly, and the detention of local political leaders and activists".

Bachelet also said it was important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future.

"India and Pakistan are having a conflict over Kashmir as you know".

Prime Minister Modi, who may have felt under scrutiny because of President Trump's claims, used the media interaction to clarify his position on the issue unequivocally.

On Monday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is leading their delegation, tweeted that Pakistan will speak "definitively" at UNHRC sessions on Kashmir. There is likely to be more clarity after Qureshi makes his statement on Tuesday. The Human Rights Council on first day discussed the security clampdown, restoration of basic rights, lifting the curfew in Occupied Kashmir and demanded to terminate communications blackout there, he added.

She included India in her specific reference to over 35 countries, and mentioned Pakistan only in reference to Kashmir, but made no reference to the human rights situation in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Balochistan or Gilgit-Baltistan. The report was immediately dismissed by India and New Delhi refused to engage with United Nations experts who referenced the document.

On the Indian side, it noted that "despite significant challenges, NGOs, human rights defenders and journalists are able to operate, generating documentation on the ongoing human rights violations there".

The near-total communications blackout has triggered global concern, with a group of United Nations human rights experts warning it amounted to "collective punishment" and risked exacerbating regional tensions.

Asserting that the abrogation of Article 370 of its Constitution to withdraw J&K's special status was its "internal matter", India has defended imposition of restrictions in the Kashmir Valley on the grounds that they were put to prevent Pakistan from creating more mischief through proxies and terrorists.

Further on, the UNHRC chief also referred to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.



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