India to UN: Call on Pakistan to dismantle 'special terrorist zones'

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

ANI Geneva, Switzerland Mar 09, 2018, 01.01 AM (IST)

India on Thursday highlighted human rights violations by Pakistan at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

India's response came after Pakistan raised the issue of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mini Devi Kumam, Second Secretary, India's Permanent Mission at UNHRC, said it had become a habit of Pakistan to misuse the UNHRC platform to make misleading references about internal matters pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir.

"This Council should be mindful that the dubious concern for human rights is coming from a country, which has systematically abused and violated the human rights of the people in Baluchistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir," Kumam said at the 37th Session of UNHRC.

She added that "Pakistan has long been attempting to mask its territorial ambitions and use of terrorism as a state policy under the guise of concern for human rights".

The Indian representative also told the UNHRC that Pakistan was committing grossest violation of human rights by exporting terrorism to Jammu and Kashmir.

"Terrorism is the grossest violation of human rights. The real problem in the State of Jammu and Kashmir is terrorism, which has constantly received sustenance from Pakistan and territories under its control," Kumam asserted.

India also urged the UNHRC to call on Pakistan to end cross-border infiltration, to dismantle special terrorist zones, safe havens and sanctuaries, and to take verifiable actions, including on terror financing.

The Indian representative also told the UNHRC that Pakistan should provide freedom to the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir by ending its illegal and forcible occupation.

While highlighting the misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan, India said Islamabad should end harassment of minorities; place procedural and institutional safeguards to prevent its misuse.

Kumam also demanded that Pakistan should end forced conversions and marriages of minorities; including Hindu, Sikh and Christian women, and prosecute all such cases.

India also highlighted enforced disappearances and unlawful killing of political dissidents by the Pakistani security forces.

"We urge the Council to call on Pakistan to stop targeting political dissidents and legitimate criticism in Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and to stop torture, enforced disappearances and unlawful killing, including that of journalists and activists by its security agencies. Pakistan should also prosecute all perpetrators of such crimes," Kumam said.

India also demanded end of sectarian violence, systemic persecution and attacks on Muslim minorities, such as Shia, Ahmadiyas , Ismailia and Hazaras in Pakistan.