A United Nations report said that Indian and Pakistani security forces have used extreme force on both sides of Kashmir.

Since 2016, numerous incidents of killing and wounding of civilians have taken place. An International level inquiry has been suggested by the UN in the report.

In what is its first human rights report on the region, the UN advised Pakistan to end its “misuse” of anti-terror resolutions for acting against peaceful activists and for quashing opposition.

With regards to its role in Jammu & Kashmir, India has strongly reacted against the report. India has said that the report is ‘fallacious, tendentious and motivated’. The report is “overtly prejudiced” and seeks to build a “false narrative”, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

It also said that the report would violate the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Since a very long time, India has charged Pakistan that they are engaged in training and arming of militants and also helping militants to penetrate across the heavily militarized Line of Control (LoC). But on each occasion, Islamabad has denied all these acquisitions.

In the UM report, it has been estimated that during the period of 2016 till April 2018, upto 145 civilians were killed by security forces and up to 20 civilians had been killed by armed groups in Jammy & Kashmir. The UN report on the humanitarian conditions is based on the aforesaid time period.

The report said “In responding to demonstrations that started in 2016, Indian security forces used excessive force that led to unlawful killings and a very high number of injuries.”

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that the Indian forces use their power as they want. He also said the people of the valley face the lack of prosecutions. Indian forces do as they want based on one law, that gives the security forces, what he called, “virtual immunity”.

A three-week session of Human Rights Council is slated to start in Geneva on Monday. Prior to that meeting, Zeid issued this statement where he said that they have launched a commission of investigation into all the reported human rights violations. He added that the alleged violations in the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region would also be investigated by the team.

In February, a militant attack had taken place on an Indian army camp in Kashmir. India had blamed Pakistan for the attack and following that incident, tensions between the two countries had escalated. Following many cease fire violations and deadly clashes, the two countries agreed on May 30 to stop exchanging artillery fire. Thousands of people had been forced to take shelter in relief camps because of the Pakistani shelling on the Indian side of the border in Jammu.  They are now slowly returning back to their homes.

The UN report said that in Jammu & Kashmir, armed groups committed a range of crimes including kidnappings, killings of civilians and sexual violence.

In Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, violations “are of a different calibre or magnitude”, the report further noted, while criticising limits on freedoms of expression and association.

(Adapted from TheHindustanTimes.com)