India criticises UNHRC Chief’s remarks on Jammu & Kashmir

India on Tuesday rejected the UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet’s criticism of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, saying her “unwarranted remarks” do not reflect the ground reality. Expressing disappointment, India said that Bachelet’s remarks do not reflect the ground reality.

India’s Constitution enshrines basic human rights as fundamental rights, the statement said, adding that India has taken targeted policy measures to empower the most vulnerable segments of society. MEA Secretary (West) Reenat Sandhu said that Parliament, independent judiciary, vibrant media and civil society ensure full enjoyment of human rights to Indian citizens. She added that India has been at the forefront of the promotion and protection of human rights. She also noted that the “worrying” usage of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act throughout India had been the highest in the country. She also appeared to criticise the multilateral system approach to global human rights promotion but asserted that the best method would be to engage problematic states. India, as a general rule with rare exceptions, has not voted in favour of country-specific resolutions. India said any shortcomings in upholding human rights must be addressed in an impartial manner and anchored in non-interference in a country’s internal affairs. “We take note of references to India in the oral update by the High Commissioner and express our disappointment over her unwarranted remarks on the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which do not reflect the ground reality,” Reenat Sandhu said, while delivering India’s statement under the General Debate on Oral Update of the High Commissioner at the 48th Session of the Human Rights Council.