Diplomat Vijay Thakur Singh said temporary precautionary measures were necessitated in the Valley to ensure the safety of its residents in the face of terror threats.
India today flatly rejected Pakistan’s claims of largescale human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, assuring the international community that the situation in the region has vastly improved in the weeks following the scrapping of its special status.
“Despite challenging circumstances, Jammu and Kashmir’s civil administration is ensuring basic services, essential supplies, normal functioning of institutions, mobility and near-total connectivity. Democratic processes have been initiated,” Indian diplomat Vijay Thakur Singh said at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council, listing out the various ways in which restrictions are being continually eased in the region.
Ms Singh said that “temporary preventive and precautionary measures” were needed after the government’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir to ensure the safety of its residents in the face of credible threats of cross-border terrorism.
Defending the decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 on August 5, the diplomat said such a move was essential to ensure that people of the region get constitutional benefits on a par with those in other parts of the country. “As a result, there will be an end to gender discrimination in various issues, including property rights and local bodies representation. There will be better protection of juvenile rights and laws against domestic violence. The rights to education, information and work will now be applicable. Longstanding discrimination against refugees and under-privileged sections will end,” she explained.
Ms Singh further pointed out that the decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate it into two district union territories was taken after a widely televised debate. “We wish to reiterate that this sovereign decision, like other legislations passed by Parliament, is entirely internal to India. No country can accept interference in its internal affairs, and certainly not India,” she said, ruling out any possibility of third-party mediation by another country.
India’s commitment to socio-economic equality and the under-privileged, she said, can be seen in its government’s welfare programmes specifically designed to empower women, children, the differently abled and other underprivileged sections of society. “Schemes such as Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Jan Dhan, Ujawala, Swach Bharat and Jal Shakti represent my government’s determination to eliminate inequity and universalise basic rights.”
Ms Singh drew a contrast between India and Pakistan, claiming that the neighbouring country has no moral right to comment on the Kashmir situation when its own record on human rights is dismal. “We should call out those who are misusing this platform for malicious political agendas under the garb of human rights. Those who are attempting this speak on the human rights of minorities in other countries whilst trampling upon them at will in their own country. They cry victim when they actually are the perpetrators,” she said