London, July 25 (KMS): The United Nations human rights report on Kashmir, released last month, was raised in the British House of Lords by British peers who called on the government to take steps to help implement the recommendations. Lord Qurban Hussain raised the issue in the Upper House of Parliament, calling upon the UK government to facilitate an independent international inquiry into rights abuses in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“According to the UN report on Kashmir, serious human rights violations took place between July 2016 and April 2018 and the report denounces the lack of prosecutions of Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir due to the 1990 law known as the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act which gives them virtual impunity,” Hussain said.

He was joined by a fellow peer Lord Nazir Ahmed, who said it was the UK’s responsibility as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to defend and protect human rights around the world.

On behalf of the UK government, Lord Tariq Ahmad responded in his capacity as Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

“We continue to raise the importance of the issues in Kashmir with the Indian government. In one of my visits towards the end of last year, I raised the issue of Kashmir and the need for Pakistan and India to find a resolution to this long-standing issue,” he said.

Equally, with reference to the report and the importance of some of its findings, we encourage all states, including India and Pakistan, to respond positively to the request by the UN in this case, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to a right to visit, he said.

The UN had released its first human rights report on Kashmir on June 14, accusing government forces in the region of rights abuses.


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