India says UN’s Kashmir statement ‘deplorable’

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India has called the U.N. Special Rapporteurs’ raising of the issues in Kashmir post-August 2019 “deplorable”, adding that it was “deliberately timed to coincide with the visit of a group of Ambassadors to Jammu and Kashmir”.

Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said in a statement that “it is deplorable that the SRs after sharing their questionnaire on February 10 did not even wait for our response. Instead, they chose to release their inaccurate assumptions to the media.”

The UN rapporteurs had raised minority issues, saying, “The loss of autonomy and the imposition of direct rule by the government in New Delhi suggests the people of Jammu and Kashmir no longer have their own government and have lost power to legislate or amend laws in the region to ensure the protection of their rights as minorities.” Fernand de Varennes, Special Rapporteur on minority issues, and Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief had raised fears of “demographic changes” in Kashmir post the introduction of new domicile laws.

The statement came on the day more than twenty foreign envoys were visiting Kashmir Valley.

In response, Srivastava said, the press release from the U.N. experts “disregards the fact that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India” and that the decision to revoke the erstwhile state’s limited-autonomy was taken on 5 August 2019 by the Parliament of India.

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