ISLAMABAD/United nations - Pakistan and India have dragged their conflict to the United Nations amid tensions over the Kashmir dispute.

The new phase of tension started after India unleashed a wave of terror in held Kashmir, firstly killing a freedom leader in July and then a number of protesters.

The UN human rights chief said a couple of days ago that the deteriorating situation in Indian-held Kashmir has now made it crucial to establish an “independent, impartial and international mission”, as he regretted India’s lack of response to his request for access to its controlled part of the disputed state.

Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Tehmina Janjua the other day welcomed High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein remarks which he made in the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

Pakistan also supported the high commission’s statement that a UN team should visit Kashmir for accessing and holding impartial investigation of India’s grave violations.

Perturbed at this development, India blamed Pakistan for alleged human rights violation in Balochistan at the UN forum.

Addressing the UNHRC, the Indian representative blamed Pakistan for alleged violations of human rights in Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian ambassador and permanent representative to the UN Ajit Kuman hurled the allegations during his address at the 33rd Session of the UNHRC at Geneva.

Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India will raise the Balochistan issue on the international forums.

India has blamed Pakistan for the ongoing unrest in Kashmir which was triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

Over 70 people, including two police personnel, were killed and several thousand others injured in the clashes between stone-throwers and security forces in the Valley over the last two months.

A senior official at Pakistan’s foreign ministry told The Nation, Islamabad will reply to New Delhi’s allegations and interference in the country’s internal matters.

“India is doing all this to avenge our protests over Kashmir. But everyone knows Kashmir is a dispute. Balochistan is our internal matter,” he said.

The official said India had no logical answer to the killing of civilians in Kashmir which was why it was resorting to baseless allegations against Pakistan to divert world attention.

“We had announced to take the issue to the UN and they are trying to pre-empt by issuing such allegations. We will not be intimidated,” he added.

Another official said PM Sharif had prepared a case for the Kashmiris for the UNGA speech. “We will lay down the facts before the world,” he maintained.

PM consulting Kashmiris today

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit AJK today to take the input of Kashmiri leadership as he is going to present the Kashmir issue at United Nations General Assembly during his upcoming visit.

Officials at PM’s Office informed The Nation yesterday that the prime minister will meet AJK President Masood Khan, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider and other senior politicians in Muzaffarabad to have their input to effectively raise the voice for Kashmiris at the UNGA. Officials said their suggestions would be incorporated in the PM’s speech at the world forum.

According to an official statement, the premier will leave for Denmark today where he will spend a day and hold meetings with Danish officials. He will reach the US on Sept 18 and conclude the trip on Sept 24, it added.

The PM’s spokesman had earlier said Nawaz Sharif will raise the issue of Kashmir situation at the UNGA session. “The prime minister has expressed grave concern over India’s use of excessive force in Kashmir. This issue will be raised at the UNGA,” the spokesman said.

Sources in the ruling PML-N said the prime minister would forcefully raise the voice for the rights of the Kashmiri people and would demand the comity of nations to at least send independent and neutral observers to monitor the human rights situation in occupied Kashmir and also send doctors to provide treatment to hundreds of Kashmiri youth injured by the Indian occupation forces.

Earlier the premier showed his commitment to Kashmir cause by dedicating this Eid to Kashmiris.

Earlier, UN High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein told the Geneva-based Human Rights Council that he received a letter from Pakistan on Sept 9, formally inviting a team from his office to visit AJK but only in tandem with a mission to the Indian side.

“I have yet to receive a formal letter from the government of India. I therefore request here and publicly, from the two governments, access that is unconditional to both sides of the line of control,” he said.

“Two months ago, I requested the agreement of the governments of India and Pakistan to invite teams from my office to visit both sides of the line of control: in other words the India-Administered Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir,” Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein said in remarks delivered on Tuesday at the opening session of HRC.

“We furthermore received conflicting narratives from the two sides as to the cause for the confrontations and the reported large numbers of people killed and wounded. I believe an independent, impartial and international mission is now needed crucially and that it should be given free and complete access to establish an objective assessment of the claims made by the two sides,” he said.

The top UN official also said that they continue receiving reports of Indian forces using “force excessively against civilian population under its administration”.

Governments accuse the OHCHR of “interfering” in the internal affairs of states when human rights violations are pointed out and his statements referring to these violations are termed “biased”, “irresponsible”, “misleading” or based on “false” premises, Zeid said.

New Delhi swiftly responded that an external inquiry was unnecessary and that it was “fully engaged in normalising the situation as soon as possible”.

India ‘trying to hide facts’

Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Indian refusal to permit United Nations High Commission on Human Rights to send its fact-finding mission to Occupied Kashmir proved India was trying to hide facts regarding human rights violations in the valley. He said closing of Amnesty International offices, refusal of fact-finding mission of UNCHR and no reply to OIC’s fact-finding mission proposal simply proved India was trying to blackout facts in IHK.

Analyst Pervez Iqbal Cheema said India should seriously consider Pakistan’s offer for dialogue. “Indian contention of Pakistan’s involvement in Kashmir is false and ungrounded altogether. The world is witnessing new uprising in Kashmir after the assassination of Burhan Wani,” he said.

Cheema said the movement in Kashmir was on a renewed rise. “The human rights organisations should visit and review the situation in Kashmir,” he added.