NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday launched a scathing counterattack against Pakistan by raising human rights violations it perpetrates in Balochistan at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). India also took aim at human rights violations by Pakistan’s politico-military establishment across the country, including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Pakistan’s response however steered clear of even mentioning either Balochistan or PoK, reported news agency ANI.
India’s decision to raise the Balochistan issue in international forums had been announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. It may be seen as a counteroffensive for the repeated comments and interference by Islamabad in the Kashmir unrest.
Not just Balochistan, India also roundly attacked Pakistan, saying it should set its own house in order first. “It will be in the fitness of things if Pakistan focuses its energies on improving the human rights situation within Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” said Ajit Kumar India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, said in a statement at the 33rd Session of the UNHRC at Geneva..
The statement gains significance in light of the persistent protests in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir against allegedly rigged elections that gave victory to the country’s ruling parties.
“Pakistan is characterized by authoritarianism, absence of democratic norms and widespread human rights violations across the country, including Balochistan,” India’s statement added. The scathing attack comes in the backdrop of a concerted effort by Pakistan’s military-political establishment to raise the Kashmir issue at various international forums, and use the unrest in Kashmir to raise the demand for a plebiscite in Kashmir.
However, Pakistan is on shaky ground here. It is yet to meet the very first requirement outlined in the United Nations Security Council resolution of 1948 on Kashmir, that asks Pakistan to withdraw all its troops and every Pakistani citizen from Kashmir before India can be asked to do so.
Pakistan had chosen not to do this in 1948, fearing the plebiscite would go in India’s favour given the fact that it had effectively invaded Jammu and Kashmir using tribal militias and regular troops. However, it has raised the plebiscite bogey now in the hopes of benefitting from the unrest in Kashmir, that broke out after the killing of Burhan Wani, a terrorist from a Pakistan-backed terror outfit.