On Tuesday, India assured the international community that the situation in the Jammu and Kashmir has vastly improved in the few weeks after the scrapping of its special status. It has rejected a claim made by Pakistan that there are huge human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. 

During a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Indian diplomat Vijay Thakur Singh said, “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.”

He listed out the various ways in which restrictions are being constantly 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.

She supported the government’s decision to scrap Article 370 on August 5 and thereby ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. She said the move was essential to ensure that people of the region get legal benefits on a par with those in other parts of the country.

She described, “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.” 

Ms. Singh further pointed out that the division 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.

The diplomat went on saying, India’s commitment to socio-economic equality and the under-privileged can be observed in its welfare programs 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 universalize basic rights,” she asserted.

Drawing contrast between India and Pakistan, Ms. Singh claimed that Pakistan has no 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. 

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