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Kashmir: UN Rights Office Critical of India and Pakistan Over Failure To Improve Situation

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Renewing calls for an international probe into violations in Kashmir, the UN rights office has criticised India and Pakistan for failing to improve the situation in the disputed region.

Last year, the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had released its first-ever report on Kashmir, documenting wrongdoing by both sides and urging action to reduce long-standing tensions.

In a follow-up report on Monday, it said, “Neither India nor Pakistan has taken any concrete steps to address the numerous concerns raised,” TRT World reported.

Because of the failure of both states to address the issues, the report called on the UN Human Rights Council to again consider creating “a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir”.

“In Indian-administered Kashmir, accountability for violations committed by members of the Indian security forces remains virtually non-existent,” the report said.

The groundbreaking 2018 findings were particularly hard on India, highlighting “chronic impunity” for misconduct by troops.

Pakistan welcomed the 2018 findings even though the UN said obtaining information about Pakistan-administered Kashmir (Azad Kashmir) was difficult given restrictions on freedom of expression and information.

“No steps have been taken to resolve the main issues, including a number of highly problematic legal restrictions,” the rights office said.

It also noted that four major armed groups in Kashmir “are believed to be based on the Pakistan side of the Line of Control,” and that civil society organisations blame Pakistani security forces for a series of “enforced disappearances,” in the region.

As the rights office shared the report with both countries last month, according to the UN, India requested the report not be published and dismissed the findings as “fallacious, tendentious and [politically] motivated” – similar wording to New Delhi’s rejection of the 2018 report.

Pakistan again “welcomed the report,” the rights office said.

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