India with its occupation of Kashmir is not only abusing the valley itself, but also the rights of the Kashmiri people. And this abuse is in continuation for the past seven decades. Despite using the brute force, Indian forces are struggling hard to conquer the people of Kashmir, who through resistance have penned down the history of valour and courage. It is the perpetual struggle of Kashmiris against Indian aggression and occupation that the United Nations human rights chief on Thursday called for investigating the abuses in Kashmir.
The chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, wants the Human Rights Council to form a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to carry out an independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir. It is encouraging to see that the UN has shown its concern over India’s violation of human rights in the colonised territories of Kashmir. The request of human rights chief –after it has published its report on status of human rights in the valley of Kashmir– to constitute a COI is indication of the fact that UN has the knowledge of how India is trying to curtail the dissent against its illegal occupation of the valley through worst kinds of human rights violations. While the first-ever report is a probe on alleged rights violations by both India and Pakistan in the disputed valley, the statement is very harsh on and critical of India that allows its forces to violate people’s rights with impunity.
The report is the result of remote monitoring of the region for almost two and half years when both sides declined Zeid’s wish for unconditional access to Kashmir. Although the report details the account of Indian abuses in the valley, the chief asked India not to repeat examples of excessive use of force, when Mr Zeid should have appealed to the international community to play its role in forcing India to quit the region.
The recently published report highlights a wide range of human rights violations in Indian Administered Kashmir ranging from lack of access to justice to sexual violence to torture to enforced disappearances to arbitrary arrests and detention to name few among many. Moreover, the UN report also criticizes the constitutional and legal structures that Indian government has put in place to provide legal protection to its soldiers from the legal system of India. It is about time to constitute a COI over the situation of human rights in Kashmir. And the COI’s findings should serve the purpose of the first step in decolonising the valley and granting the people their inherent right of self-determination.