ISLAMABAD: Responding to Pakistan’s request, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) has offered to send fact-finding missions to both Indian-occupied Kashmir and the Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), the Foreign Office said on Thursday.
On July 15, Pakistan had requested the United Nations human rights watch dog to send a fact-finding mission to Indian-held Kashmir to look into the gross violations of human rights.
In a statement, the Foreign Office said the situation in the held valley had further deteriorated since the letter was written.
“In the past 40 days, more than 80 innocent young Kashmiris have been killed, 6,000 wounded and 120 blinded as a result of brutal action by the Indian security forces to suppress peaceful protests. There has been constant curfew during this period in IoK and a complete media blackout,” the statement said.
Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said AJK was an area open to everyone and was frequented by foreign tourists and members of the diplomatic community in Pakistan, including representatives of the United Nations, where they had observed recent elections and met cross section of people.
“Access to UNCHR has been denied by India to Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has never prevented UN officials from travelling to Azad Jammu and Kashmir,” Zakaria pointed out.
However, while welcoming any UN team that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights may wish to send to AJK, the spokesperson said Pakistan will not accept equating the rampant human rights violations in held-valley with the situation in AJK.
“In fact, the contrast between grim reality in Indian-held Kashmir and the peaceful situation in AJK could not be starker. It is, therefore, essential that the UN fact finding team must visit IOK,” the spokesperson stressed.