Despite its efforts, Pakistan failed to get enough support at the United Nations UNHRC to even file a request for an “urgent debate” at the world body meeting.
Before leaving for Geneva, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had promised his domestic constituency that he would move a “resolution” on Kashmir at the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council being held between September 9 and 27 in Geneva.
A source said, “Far from a resolution, Pakistan is yet to file a request even for a debate which would require support from 24 nations of the 47-member group. Without it, Pakistan cannot file a request for urgent debate.”
While a debate can be requested at anytime throughout the session, last date to file request for a resolution on Kashmir is September 19.
UNHRC was stage to the latest India-Pakistan diplomatic stand-off. 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva was used by Pakistan’s foreign minister Qureshi to raise the issue of Kashmir and criticise India’s decision to abrogate key provisions of Article 370 of the Indian constitution.
India rebutted by describing Pakistan’s remarks as “offensive rhetoric”, “false allegations” and “concocted charges”.
India’s Secretary (East) in the MEA, Vijay Thakur Singh led the charge flanked by Ajay Bisaria, Indian envoy to Pakistan who was ousted after the legislation on Article 370, and Ambassador Rajeev Chander, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva.
In the statement, Singh took up two important issues, Kashmir and Assam. Hitting out at Pakistan she said, “One delegation here has given a running commentary with offensive rhetoric of false allegations and concocted charges against my country. The world is aware that this fabricated narrative comes from the epicenter of global terrorism, where ring leaders were sheltered for years. This nation conducts cross-border terrorism as a form of ‘alternate diplomacy’.”
On Assam and NRC she said, “National Register for Citizens, is a statutory, transparent, non- discriminatory legal process mandated and monitored by the Supreme Court of India. Its implementation will comply with Indian law and democratic traditions.”
Qureshi said a joint investigation committee should be formed for investigating the situation in Kashmir. “We support the formation of such a committee,” he said. But in a major case of faux pas, Qureshi called Kashmir the “Indian state” of J&K rather than their stated line of referring to it as “Indian Occupied” Kashmir.
India’s First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India at UN in Geneva, Vimarsh Aryan replied to Pakistan’s statements by raising the issue of human rights situation within Pakistan as also cross-border terrorism that emanates from Pakistan.
Rejecting Pakistani “propaganda”, the Indian diplomat said, “I have been forced to take the floor to call out the blatant misrepresentation of facts and false narrative peddled by Pakistan in all its statements today. This is an ill-disguised effort to advance its territorial ambitions. We reject this propaganda.”