‘Seriously concerned’ by situation in Jammu and Kashmir, UN rights chief urges de-escalation of tensions

4 October 2016

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, is seriously concerned about the human rights situation in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the rising tensions between India and Pakistan, a spokesperson from the High Commissioner’s Office (OHCHR) said today.

“We urge India and Pakistan to engage in a dialogue and to de-escalate the situation,” Rupert Colville, told reporters at the regular Geneva briefing today, adding: “The inflammatory remarks on both sides only fuel the tensions and could result in a further deterioration of the human rights situation.”

“We reiterate our call for unfettered and unconditional access to both Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir to enable us to independently and impartially monitor the human rights situation,” added Mr. Colville.

“We stand ready to support efforts to de-escalate the situation,” he concluded.

The UN has long maintained an institutional presence in the contested area between India and Pakistan. According to the Security Council mandate given in resolution 307 of 1971, the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) observes and reports on ceasefire violations along and across the Line of Control and the working boundary between the South Asian neighbours in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as reports developments that could lead to ceasefire violations.

Recent developments, particularly reported ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC), have led to an escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan.

 

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