Pak Islamist in Constant Touch with Author of UN Report on Kashmir

India had rejected the first ever human rights report on Kashmir calling it biased and based on unverified sources.

2 min read

A Pakistani Islamist based in Canada admitted on 10 July to being in constant touch with the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, while he was preparing the first-ever report on the situation of human rights in Kashmir, reported ANI.

While India rejected the report, calling it biased and based on unverified sources, Zafar Bangash, an Islamic movement journalist and an Imam at the Islamic Society of York Region's Mosque, said at a press conference on Kashmir in Mississauga, “I can say it to you, and I say it with all humility, but with great pride that we ‘The Friends of Kashmir’ also have a role in the production of this report. In fact, I had personal correspondence with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, e-mail correspondence in which he responded to my personal letter and e-mail, saying that he would like to have access to both sides of Line of Control, that means in Azad Kashmir and Indian occupied Kashmir.”

Bangash also confessed to consulting the matter with officials in Islamabad. He said, “I responded to him (Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein) after speaking to the Foreign Office spokesperson in Pakistan, Mr Nafees Zakaria, who used to be the Consul General in Toronto and he assured that Pakistan would welcome the UN High Commissioner and their representatives to Pakistan and they will facilitate their visit to Azad Kashmir."

The event was also attended by the Sardar Masood Khan Sudhuzai who is an Azad Kashmiri diplomat serving as 14th President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

UN Human Rights Report on Kashmir Shows Clear Bias: India at UN

Earlier on 10 July, reacting angrily to Pakistan's reference to a UN report on Kashmir at the Security Council, India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Tanmaya Lal, in a scathing reply, said the "so-called" report about the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir reflects the "clear bias of an official who was acting without any mandate whatsoever and relied on unverified sources of information.”

He said the report "was not even found fit to be considered by the membership of the forum where it was submitted."

India had rejected the human rights report by Zeid Ra’ad, who had called for a commission of inquiry by the Human Rights Council to conduct an independent, international investigation into the allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir.

This was the third time in as many weeks that Pakistan raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN. India had strongly rebutted Pakistan's reference to Kashmir at UN General Assembly debate on 25 June, asserting that no amount of “empty rhetoric" by Islamabad will change the reality that Kashmir is an "inalienable" part of India.

Last week, India described Pakistan as a "hub of terrorism" in South Asia and beyond, saying "cynical" attempts by it to spread a false narrative about Kashmir have been unsuccessful after Pakistan made a reference to Kashmir.

(With inputs from PTI)

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