Nation Current Affairs 02 Oct 2018 UN chief Antonio Gut ...

UN chief Antonio Guterres may discuss Kashmir with Modi

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Oct 2, 2018, 12:16 am IST
Updated Oct 2, 2018, 12:16 am IST
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the inauguration of the UN House in New Delhi, Monday. (Photo: PTI)
 United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the inauguration of the UN House in New Delhi, Monday. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit to India and is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday afternoon during which the situation in Kashmir could come up for discussion.  Mr Guterres is also slated to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday during his visit.  There is speculation that New Delhi may also place its objections before the UN Secretary General regarding a report in June this year by the UN-High Commissioner for Human Rights that had alleged human rights violations in J&K and which was then rejected by India as being “fallacious, tendentious and motivated”. 

Meanwhile, Mr Guterres was quoted by media reports as saying ahead of his visit, “I remain concerned by the situation in Jammu and Kashmir — I encourage positive dialogue for disagreements to be resolved peacefully.”   He was further quoted as saying, “On the development front, India already is, and can become an even greater regional development force, helping other countries of the region forge a better future.” The UN Secretary General will also deliver a speech on “Global Challenges, Global Solutions” in the Capital on Tuesday afternoon.

The visit is being watched keenly amid reports that separatists in J&K have written to Mr Guterres drawing his attention to the Kashmir issue. There were also reports of an organisation representing Kashmiri Pandits writing to Mr Guterres and alleging that Pakistan had issued a postage stamp for propaganda that purported to show showing protests by Kashmiris against the Indian Government which was fake since it actually depicted a protest by that organisation against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in J&K.

It may also be recalled that in June this year UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein had said he would be “urging the UN Human Rights Council to consider establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir”.  His office (UN-HCHR) had also released a highly controversial 49-page report-claimed by it to be “the first ever issued by the UN on the human rights situation in Indian-Administered and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir” - that alleged “human rights violations and abuses on both sides of the Line of Control”, and “highlighted  a situation of chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces”. 

India had swiftly rejected the findings of the report on the situation in J&K and lodged a protest, saying it was “fallacious, tendentious and motivated” and even “questioning the intent” behind it.  A furious New Delhi had said the report was a “selective compilation of largely unverified information”, that it was “overtly prejudiced and seeks to build a false narrative” and that it “violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

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