All Parties Hurriyet Conference General Secretary, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, has welcomed the concern expressed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, over the grave human rights situation in the territory.
According to media sources, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein in his opening statement at the start of the 35th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva had said, “…..We continue to receive reports of increasing violence, civilian casualties, curfews and website blackouts in Kashmir.”
Shabbir Ahmad Shah in a statement issued in Srinagar said that India and its local collaborators had always been trying to cover up the human rights violations taking place in the occupied territory and had used every kind of suppressive measure to break the resolve of Kashmiris but the Kashmiri people were more determined to continue their struggle for securing their right to self-determination.
The opening statement by the UN Human Rights Chief highlighted issues that deserve top international attention. For decades, Kashmir slipped out of the list and was forgotten. But starting in September 2016, Kashmir made a surprise return to the UN human rights agenda. UN’s top Rights Chief raised Kashmir in his policy statements in September, March and now in June.
Diplomats and human rights defenders participating in the ongoing session of UNHRC say that the inclusion of Kashmir in the list of top world conflicts that require urgent international attention is unprecedented and the coming days indicate that India can face more international diplomatic challenges on Kashmir.
Kashmiri human rights defender, Altaf Hussain Wani, hailing the remarks of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said, “It is a major development when Kashmir gets mentioned in the policy statement of top UN official for third time.”
Syed Faiz Naqshbandi, another Kashmiri human rights defender, said that mentioning Kashmir at the top UN rights forum three times consecutively pointed to major developments in coming days.
A Western diplomat said that developments inside Kashmir and at the UN could spell trouble for India. “It is clear that India is unable to control the situation on the ground in Kashmir despite being a big country with a large army. The world community might have to step in to do what India and Pakistan are unable to do, which is to resolve the conflict,” he said.