By Kashmir Watch –
Oslo: Indian vote against the rights abuses in Sri Lanka has given the chance to raise the issue of Kashmir dispute at UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This was stated by the Executive Director of Kashmir Scandinavian Council (Norway) Sardar Ali Shahnawaz Khan today in the backdrop of Sri Lankan Government ‘s warning to India of possible repercussions over Kashmir after it voted for a US resolution in Geneva on rights abuses during its war on the Tamil Tigers.
Sri Lankan Government spokesman Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said some countries or groups might use the vote on Sri Lanka as precedence to bring a similar resolution on India over the Kashmir dispute.
Sri Lanka was, however, mindful that India acted as a result of immense pressure from Tamil political parties, Abeywardena, the acting media minister, told a public meeting.
Much to the disappointment of Colombo, India was among 24 countries which voted in support of the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC on Thursday 22nd March in Geneva.
He said that people of Jammu and Kashmir has no govt. level approach on its own to raise this issue directly at UNHRC.
This is an opportunity for Pakistan. As a party to the dispute and advocate on behalf of Kashmiri people Pakistan should plead this case at diplomatic level. In this regard Pakistan can also take Sri Lankan Govt. into confidence.
He appealed to the Kashmiri leadership to urge Pakistan to raise this issue at UNHRC.
Kashmir issue is a disputed territory recognized by UN itself so we have an upper hand and bright chances to raise this issue similarly India raised the issue of rights abuses against the Sri Lankan Govt.
Mr Ali Shahnawaz said that the people of Kashmir are gratified to note that the United Nations has started coming out of its coma by raising the voice against the voiceless from Geneva headquarters. But unfortunately, the UNHRC has remained silent on the tragedy being inflicted by over 700,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces deployed in Kashmir — which under international law is a disputed territory and not the integral part of any country. Mr Shahnawaz said that this silence has had lethal repercussions for the civilian and unarmed population. It has also created the impression that the Human Rights Council is selective about the application of the international law, justice and human rights. He said that people of Kashmir hope that the members of the Council will become the real defenders of human rights and will keep India accountable for killing more than 100,000 innocent people in the disputed territory of Kashmir.