India and Pakistan set to clash over Kashmir at UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday

India and Pakistan set to clash over Kashmir at UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday

Islamabad is all set to raise the Jammu and Kashmir issue when both India and Pakistan speak at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday. The two nuclear-armed neighbours will be speaking as part of the 42nd session of the UNHRC, which is underway in Geneva.

While speaking at the forum, Pakistan is certain to rant on the Kashmir issue. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is himself in Geneva along with country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Special Representative on Diplomatic Outreach Tehmina Januja.
Pakistan’s address at the gathering is expected to happen at 3.30 pm (IST) on Tuesday.

Though Pakistan seeks a resolution on the Jammu and Kashmir issue, the country lacks number for its passage.

India is being represented by a high-powered delegation, led by Secretary east Vijay Thakur Singh and Indian envoy to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria. India has been engaging with the UNHRC to thwart any attempt by Pakistan to internationalise Kashmir. India has briefed several foreign envoys in Delhi and even reached out to global capitals.

In the opening statement of the session on Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet had slammed both India as well as Pakistan over the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

She had said, “In relation to Kashmir, my Office continues to receive reports on the human rights situation on both sides of the Line of Control…I continue to urge the governments of India and Pakistan to ensure that human rights are respected and protected.”

She urged New Delhi to ease the current lockdowns or curfews in Jammu and Kashmir and ensure people’s access to basic services.

The Council is made of 47 Member States, which are elected by majority of members of the General Assembly of the United Nations through a direct and secret ballot.

The development comes weeks after India was able to thwart a joint initiative by China and Pak to rake up Kashmir at United Nation Security Council. Islamabad wanted an emergency session on Kashmir at the UNSC and for this, a consultative meet on August 16.

It happened at the request of China, which took up the letter of Pakistani foreign minister in the aftermath of New Delhi’s decision to abrogate Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

India’s permanent envoy to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin, had said after the meeting, “Article 370 is internal matter. These have no external ramifications.”

On talk with Pakistan, he had said, “Using terror to push goals is not the way normal states behave. Stop terror to start talks.”

Russia, France, UK and US backed India at the consultations. The outcome of August 16 is being considered a big diplomatic victory for India as consultations did not lead to any formal meeting, which Islamabad was keen to have.

In the aftermath of India’s international decision to remove the special status for Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has been trying to internationalise Kashmir by reaching out to global capitals but has not got any traction.

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