In her first address to the United Nations Human Rights Council, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has said that Kashmir had the same rights to justice and dignity as people all over the world.
The former Chilean president succeeded Zeid Raad al Hussain as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights this month.
In her opening remarks at the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Bachelet said the people of Kashmir had the same rights to justice and dignity as people all over the world, the Indian express newspaper reported.
“The people of Kashmir have exactly the same rights to justice and dignity as people all over the world and we urge authorities to respect them,” she said.
Bachelet also reiterated the UNHRC’s request for unconditional access to Kashmir on either side of the Line of Control.
“The Office of the HRC continues to request permission to visit both sides of the LoC, and in the meantime, will continue its monitoring and reporting,” she was quoted by the Indian express as stating.
In his report to the UN Human Rights Council in June, Bachelet’s predecessor Zeid Hussain had sought an “establishment of a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir”.
UN human rights council had released a report, “Indian-Administered Jammu and Kashmir from June 2016 to April 2018, and general human rights concerns in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Baltistan”.
The damning UN report has levelled serious charges of human rights abuse against the Indian state, calling for establishing a commission of inquiry to investigate the rights violation committed by the Indian forces in the region.
However, India reacted sharply to the report, calling it “fallacious, tendentious and motivated”, and lodged a strong protest with the United Nations.
“The report violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state through aggression,” the Ministry of External Affairs had said.
She also urged India and Pakistan to take meaningful action on addressing issues highlighted in the UN report on human rights violations in Kashmir.
This was part of a written statement by the new UNHRC chief.