In an unprecedented move, the United Nations released a shocking report on alleged human rights violations in Kashmir and sought international inquiry into these abuses. The report primarily focuses on violations from July 2016 to April 2018.
“In responding to demonstrations that started in 2016, Indian security forces used excessive force that led to unlawful killings and a very high number of injuries,” the report said.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein met with representatives of both the Indian and Pakistan governments to seek unconditional access to controlled areas following the death of Burhan Wani in July 2016. His request was denied by both governments and his office began remote monitoring of the abuses in the build up to producing the report on Kashmir.
"It is essential that the Indian authorities take immediate and effective steps to avoid a repetition of the numerous examples of excessive use of force by security forces in Kashmir," Zeid was quoted as saying. While the report is heavily gunned towards the Indian side, it also points to “a range of human rights abuses in Azad Jammu and Kashmir”.
It has been estimated that at least 145 people have died in the clashes in two years, outnumbering those who have been killed by militant groups in the valley. Despite these numbers the Indian government has been on the offensive and only recently agreed to a ceasefire which didn't even last 24 hours.
Even though the report could have far reaching consequences for the Modi led government in the lead up to 2019 general elections, most of his core base still firmly believes in an offensive-defence policy to handle the Pakistani misadventures in Kashmir.
Overall, the report will not go down well for India on international platforms and with the UN Human Rights chief calling for a Commission of Inquiry for independent international investigation into human rights violations in Kashmir, India would have a diplomatic challenge for the first time to defend it's stance on Kashmir.