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India has a big UN headache, from Rana Ayyub to Kashmir and Thoothukudi

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India is worried that UN human rights body meeting in Geneva Monday could push it for an international probe in Kashmir.

New Delhi: There is growing alarm that the United Nations is focusing undue international attention on “human rights violations” in India, with unprecedented censure by UN special rapporteurs on an industrial-environmental dispute in Thoothukudi, indictment by UN experts on journalist Rana Ayyub’s freedom of speech and expression, and most recently, the demand for an “independent international investigation” into events in Jammu & Kashmir. 

As a Human Rights Council meeting opens in Geneva Monday, India will be nervously watching if the international community further drags New Delhi into its crosshairs. 

In the last few weeks, New Delhi has thrice been rapped on its diplomatic knuckles by the UN. As the global international order led by the US and China realigns itself, there is growing concern that the UN is using the turbulence to push its own interventionist agenda. 

The scathing indictment by UN special rapporteurs on the police firing on protesters against Vedanta’s Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi is a case in point. Never, at least in India, has the UN commented on an industrial dispute. But on 31 May, as many as eight UN special rapporteurs condemned the “apparent excessive and disproportionate use of lethal force” by the Tamil Nadu police, in which 12 people were killed. 

Barely a week before on 24 May, five UN special rapporteurs asked the government to protect Rana Ayyub’s freedom of speech and expression and asked why she was being subject to extraordinary vilification and a campaign of hate, rape and death threats.  

UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid bin Ra’ad’S detailed, blow-by-blow compilation last week of alleged human rights violations in Jammu & Kashmir, is another sign of the times. The report even went to the extent of demanding that reparations be given to the victims of the conflict. 

Never has a UN human rights organisation, not even at the height of the insurgency in Kashmir in the early 1990s, called upon India to “fully respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law”. 

At the time, debates on Kashmir and growing religious intolerance after the demolition of the Babri Masjid had taken place only when Pakistan had insisted that its resolution be taken up at the UN Human Rights committee. 

A furious Delhi has since slammed the report, but there is growing concern that the UN is pushing an agenda, using the “human rights” argument. 

Now in Geneva, New Delhi is wondering if the international community will take up the demand that he made in his own report for an “independent international investigation” into allegations of human rights violations in Jammu & Kashmir. 

For the first time in more than 25 years, New Delhi fears that the dreaded ‘K’ word, Kashmir, is back front and centre. Except that this time around it is accompanied by criticism in other parts of India as well – on industrial disputes and on freedom of speech. 

For the first time in decades, as India returns to the crosshairs of international attention, it is having to desperately scramble to keep up with old friends and make sense of newer antagonisms. 

The relationship between India and the US is less cosy than it was in recent years, with New Delhi and Washington still finding their feet in the wake of President Donald Trump’s determination to shake up the international order. 

He has already demanded India “do more”, especially in Afghanistan, even as he creates new openings with Pakistan after the killing by a US drone of dreaded terrorist Mullah Fazlullah. 

Fazlullah, who belonged to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was found in southern Afghanistan. 

Meanwhile, New Delhi is wondering how to deal with the Prince Zeid headache. Officials note that he has been consistent in his attack of the Modi government. 

Last April he wrote a letter to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj demanding that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) be expanded to “cover all relevant cases involving the paramilitary forces and the army, including in Jammu & Kashmir state,” as well as empowering it to “inquire into alleged human rights violations and abuses by the armed forces of India”. 

Then in September last year, at the inaugural of the 36th session of the Human Rights Council, Zeid al Ra’ad had said: “The current wave of violent, and often lethal, mob attacks against people under the pretext of protecting the lives of cows is alarming.”

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  1. Can putting the things under the carpet make things right? Wake up realize and do constructive work to put things right

  2. Modi government’s biggest failure (apart from demonetization) is the way they have (mis)handled the Kashmir issue.

    We all know that Kashmir is a UN disputed territory. That is a fact that cannot be changed but it takes strong leaders like Indira Gandhi to protect India’s interests against international pressure. And we all know that the surgical strike in PoK was fake, an optical illusion created by Modi government to gloss over its sheer incomptence and failures. All the army did were a few isolated skirmishes across the LoC which happens anyway. But, India media journalists started chest thumping Modi as the savior of India based on these lies and exaggerations.

    None of the international agencies and actual reporters based in PoK agree with India’s version of surgical strikes. Bhakts will call it a conspiracy but these same agencies agree with India’s version of the Kargil War under Vajpayee Ji. Here is the main Wikipedia article. Apparently, the overpaid Bhakts of BJP IT troll cell don’t have enough influence on Wikipedia.

    “UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said that the UN Observer Group in Pakistani Kashmir did not directly observe any “firing across the Line of Control” relating to the incident”

    “Shawn Snow in The Diplomat stated that India has not yet developed the “asymmetrical capability” required for airborne strikes, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and precision-guided munitions.”

    Modi government’s another apparent failure is on how quickly Kashmir is slipping out of India’s hands under their misrule. Modi is a khakhra-eating cowardly Gujju Bania. He doesn’t have the balls to face up to Pakistani military hawks and their allies. He keeps running to enemy countries like China (which antagonizes India at the border) when facing heat at home from opposition parties.

    In J&K, partnering with PDP has been the biggest mistake of BJP. Modi-Shah duo is so consumed with grabbing power by any means that the territorial integrity of India does not occur to BJP government. They will sooner cede Kashmir to militants than take a fighting stand to restore India’s honour.

    Modi is a bullshitter and a fake leader. He doesn’t deserve to be India’s Prime Minister. I will never accept him as my Prime Minister. He is a parasite on this country that needs to resign immediately for the greater good.

    Here’s an interesting fact. Kashmir issue NEVER spiralled out of control under Congress rule. Never. The first time the problems started in Kashmir, in 1989, it was a VP Singh government supported by BJP. Now we have Modi who’s actually as ineffective a PM as VP Singh.

    Every time BJP comes to power at the Centre, India starts losing in Kashmir.

  3. Ignore these xians and moslem conspiracy and forge close relations with russia and israel

  4. A piece of Shit. India worried about UNHCR? UNHCR is itself a joke. India should leave the defunct UN who are unable to stop civil wars in so many nations, viz. Yemen, Syria, Libya Iraq,… Mr Zeid should investigate the happenings in Jordan, his home country instead.

  5. Can anyone disintegrate india. Imuslims, hristians, the journalist lpbby plus plus UN..
    Pls stop this sort of article which is drohi attitude

  6. I read so many British and American newspapers / magazines / sites on the net. Honestly cannot recall the last time they had something laudatory to say about India.

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