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Callamard concerned over human rights abuses in Indian Occupied Kashmir

  • Callamard says quality of responses she received from Indian government regarding details about victims and their perpetrators has been “poor".
  • The situation in Kashmir is a big concern for many of us within Special Procedures.
  • The UN rapporteur says they will keep the issue on agenda and make sure that the situation is monitored continuously.

(Karachi) UN Special Rapporteur on Human rights Agnes Callamard has shown serious concern over Indian atrocities, killings and violation of freedom of expression and human rights abuses in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK).

While replying a question at a news conference at the UN she said, “The situation in Kashmir is a big concern for many of us within Special Procedures. But it is also a situation where we need to recognise that besides keeping the issue on the agenda, and besides denouncing the violation I am not sure that we at this point can be asked to have much more impact than that." “It doesn't meant that we are giving up at all but it does mean that there are a number of actors that are probably better placed than Special Procedures to move the issue to a better situation," she added.

She said that during past month or so she communicated with Indian authorities about “killings but also violation of access to information, violation of freedom of expression and so on and so on". Responding to a reporter"s question about Kashmir she said, “I am just not sure that at the moment we have the strategic place for an impact on Kashmir. So what we got to do is to keep doing, to keep the issue on the agenda, make sure that we are continuing monitoring the situation, responding to the victims, trying to at least mediate somehow what is being the human cost of the situation." Callamard said that she had written to the Indian government giving specific details about victims and their perpetrators, but the quality of responses she received has been “poor" and “further gotten poor after the decision of the Indian government to transform the status of Kashmir". Meanwhile, a delegation of the European Union (EU) will visit Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) on October 29 to take account of the situation in the region following India's decision to revoke Article 370 from its constitution. New Delhi insists that its move in August was essential to integrate Kashmir fully into India and bring development to the Himalayan region, but there is anger and discontent among many locals over the decision.

Despite the curbs, Kashmiris have come out on to the streets, and many shops and other commercial establishments in the Kashmir valley have remained mostly shuttered in protests against the withdrawal of the special status.

India has long accused Pakistan of fuelling an armed insurgency in Kashmir, a charge that Islamabad denies.