United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has voiced support for the UN human rights chief’s call for an independent international investigation into the human rights situation in Kashmir, saying his action “represents the voice of the UN” on the issue.
“As you can imagine, all the action of the Human Rights High Commissioner is an action that represents the voice of the UN in relation to that issue,” Guterres told reporters at a press conference here yesterday.
He was responding to questions whether he supports an independent international probe into the human rights situation in Kashmir as recommended by High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in his report on Kashmir last month.
India has rejected Al Hussein’s report in which he had called for a commission of inquiry by the Human Rights Council to conduct an independent international investigation into the human rights situation in Kashmir.
Guterres was asked by PTI about India’s assertion that Al Hussein was acting without any mandate and that Kashmir is a bilateral issue that needs to be resolved between India and Pakistan.
He said, “one thing is the definition of the mechanism for a political solution of a situation in a country. The other thing is the general mandate of human rights instruments in relation to human rights everywhere.”
“And so what the Human Rights High Commissioner did was the use of its own competencies and capacities, as it does in all other parts of the world, to report on what he considered to be relevant human rights violations.
“It doesn’t mean that there is in that a preference for any kind of methodology for a political solution. They are two completely different things, and the same applies in relation to the other report,” he said, referring to his report on children and armed conflict.
When asked if he has made any attempt to bring about dialogue between India and Pakistan, Guterres said, “It is clear for me that only political solutions can address political problems.”
He added that whenever he meets the leaders of both India and Pakistan, he always offers his good offices, and “I hope that the future will be able to create the mechanisms of dialogue that will allow for this problem to find also an adequate political solution that the people can benefit from.”