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India, International Law and an Act of Hypocrisy: JKCCS

March 29, 2013

Press release put out 24 March by the JAMMU AND KASHMIR COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY

Srinagar: The 21 March 2013, United Nations Human Rights Council [UNHRC] resolution is a welcome initial step in the ongoing struggle to hold countries responsible for human rights violations, ranging from Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes to Enforced Disappearance, Torture, Rape and Extra-judicial executions. The watered down resolution, moved by the United States, and India’s support for the resolution, requires both commendation and severe criticism at the same time.

There can be no selective morality when it comes to standing against the commission of human rights violations by State’s. Every country must be held to the same standards, as Sri Lanka has been in the instant case, regardless of economic or geo-political concerns. In this regard, the United States and India stand accused of hypocrisy in their dealings with human rights violations in their regions or across the world. Similarly, Pakistan’s vote against the resolution raises serious questions on its own approach to human rights violations in the region or elsewhere.

India’s recognition of the atrocities arising from the Sri Lankan conflict is in direct contrast to its public and international position on Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian institutional culture of moral, political and juridical impunity in Jammu and Kashmir has resulted in, by some estimates [as of 2013], enforced and involuntary disappearance of at least 8000 persons besides more than 70,000 deaths, countless cases of torture and disclosures of more than 6000 unknown, unmarked, and mass graves. In the context of the issue of unmarked and mass graves, despite a series of recommendations by the State Human Rights Commission on 19 October 2011, and an European Parliament resolution of July 2008 urging the Government of India to hold an investigation into the alleged mass/unidentified graves in Kashmir, no action has been taken. Countless violations against the armed forces and the Jammu and Kashmir Police have been brought to the public domain.

The Indian State has evaded, denied and altogether refused to acknowledge its continuing criminal actions in Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian vote for the resolution is therefore, at the same moment, both laudable
and revealing.

Adv. Parvez Imroz
President, JKCCS

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