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India slams UN experts over Jammu and Kashmir remarks

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava

The press release disregards the fact that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India and the decision of August 5, 2019, regarding the change in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into a Union Territory of India was taken by the Parliament of India,” he said.

New Delhi, Feb 19: India on Thursday slammed two UN Special Rapporteurs for criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies towards Jammu and Kashmir, asserting that the region is an “integral and inalienable” part of the country.

India’s reaction came after Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Fernand de Varennes, and Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed, made criticized the withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special powers in 2019.

Muslims and other minority groups also stood to lose on issues such as employment and land ownership, SRs (Special Rapporteurs) said.

Their comments were part of a press release published on the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the press release has been deliberately timed to coincide with the visit of a group of foreign ambassadors to Jammu and Kashmir.

The recent two-day visit of a 24-member delegation from foreign missions to Jammu and Kashmir met representatives of civil society and government.

“The press release disregards the fact that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India and the decision of August 5, 2019, regarding the change in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into a Union Territory of India was taken by the Parliament of India,” he said.

This press release calls into question the larger principles of objectivity and neutrality that the SRs (Special Rapporteurs) are mandated by the Human Rights Council to adhere to,” he said in a statement.

“The press release has ignored the positive impact of extending laws applicable to the rest of India to Jammu and Kashmir, enabling the people of Jammu and Kashmir to enjoy the same rights as available to people in other parts of India,” he said.

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