MEA Secy (East) Vijay Thakur Singh at UNHRC in Geneva (image: DD)

India on Tuesday rebutted Pakistan’s claims at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), reiterating that scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status is its internal matter.

Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs (East) Vijay Thakur said:

“The recent legislative measures taken by India in Jammu and Kashmir is within the framework of the country’s Constitution. It was a sovereign decision and an internal matter of India. No country can accept interference in its internal affairs.”

Terming Pakistan as the epicentre of “global terrorism”, Thakur called out Pakistani delegation for it “concocted charges” against New Delhi. The Indian delegation argued that Pakistan has been raising the rhetoric to an extent of “false allegations”.

Thakur asserted a need to call out those who were misusing the UNHRC for malicious political agenda, in the guise of human rights. She said they play the victim when they are the perpetrators.

On terrorism she said that we must speak out as “silence only emboldens terrorists” and “encourages intimidatory tactics”, adding that the international community needs to work together to fight terrorism and its sponsors.

Assuring the international community, India stated that J&K’s administration is ensuring basic services, normal functioning institutions, mobility and almost full connectivity.

Speaking on J&K Thakur said:

“The government is taking affirmative action by adopting progressive policies to promote socio-economic equality and justice. As a result of recent legislative measures, progressive policies will now be fully applicable to our citizens in J&K, and Ladakh. These will end gender discrimination, better protect juvenile rights and make applicable rights to education, information, and work.”

Further, on the issue of National Register of Citizens (NRC), she said the citizenship document is a statutory, transparent, nondiscriminatory legal process, which has been mandated and monitored by the Supreme Court.

Her justification of the NRC comes a day after UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet expressed “deep concern” over the exercise in Assam and had urged the Indian government to protect those excluded from the final list from “statelessness”.

Bachelet had also spoken out on the Kashmir issue and had urged New Delhi “to ease the current lockdowns or curfews” and that Kashmiri people be given access to basic services. Moreover, she urged that “all due process rights” are respected for those who have been detained.

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