With the aim to move a resolution on Kashmir at the 42nd meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made a desperate attempt to internationalize the Kashmir issue but failed badly. Pakistan would need the support of 24 nations out of the 47 member group and despite its efforts, it has failed to even garner support to file a request for an urgent debate at the UNHRC. It has to note that while a debate can be requested at any time throughout the session, the last date to file a request for a resolution on Kashmir is September 19. India opted not to send a Minister to Geneva indicating that it is not giving too much importance to the issue. However, it strongly rebutted Pakistan’s claim and remarks as “offensive rhetoric”, “false allegations” and “concocted charges”.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi again attempted to raise the Kashmir issue claiming human rights violations and demanded a joint investigation by the United Nations. India foiled Pakistan’s bid by strongly reiterating that Kashmir is an internal matter and that restrictions were introduced to ensure the security of people from cross border terrorism. Hitting back at Pakistan the Indian representatives underlined that the worst kind of human rights violations emanate from terrorism and asked the council members to speak out against such acts of terror.
Indian Diplomat, Ms. Vijay Thakur Singh led the charge flanked by Ajay Bisaria, India’s former envoy to Pakistan and Ambassador Rajeev Chander, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva. Hitting out at Pakistan, Ms. Singh said, “One delegation here has given a running commentary with offensive rhetoric of false allegations and concocted charges against my country. The world is aware that this fabricated narrative comes from the epicenter of global terrorism, where ring leaders were sheltered for years. This nation conducts cross-border terrorism as a form of ‘alternate diplomacy’.” The Indian delegates successfully raised the issue of the human rights situation within Pakistan and also highlighted the cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
India’s case was made strong by two incidents, the first was a message by a former lawmaker from Pakistan Baldev Singh, from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Party seeking political asylum in India. In a media statement, he underlined the state of minorities in Pakistan and said that “not only are Hindus and Sikhs being “tortured” in Pakistan, but even Muslims are not safe in that country. The second is the protest by World Sindhi Congress outside the UNHRC session in Geneva to attract the attention of the World against the human rights violation in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It should be noted that just before the UNHCR session, there were reports about the release of JeM terrorist Masood Azhar by Pakistan in order to send him to launch pads near the border areas to motivate the terrorists to wage war against India in Kashmir. Pakistan wanted to use a two-pronged strategy, first to build-up troops along the Rajasthan- Sialkot sector and secondly to increase infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir before the UNHCR session in a desperate attempt to attract the World’s attention towards Kashmir. So far, the international community has supported India’s stand and questioned Pakistan’s claims.
Pakistan’s failure at the UNHCR and its continuous support for terrorism will certainly make its case weaker when Mr. Imran Khan addresses the United Nations on the 27th of September. While Pakistan is making noises at all the forums, India has been quietly working out a strategy to gain international support for its decision on Kashmir. However, despite its’ failures, Pakistan will keep making desperate attempts to keep the Kashmir issue boiling by spreading false propaganda and will try to revive militancy. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has already announced a big public gathering at Muzaffarabad (PoK) on Friday (September 13) to express solidarity with “besieged people” of Jammu and Kashmir. India needs to up the ante and use this opportunity to make an attempt to push Pakistan in the blacklist before the next Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in October.
Script: Dr. Zainab akhter, Analyst On Pakistan