India rejects UN experts' concerns on J&K's autonomy
NEW DELHI, Feb 19: India on Thursday said concerns expressed by UN human rights experts on Centre's move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir's special status and enact new laws disregarded the fact that the region is an integral part of the country and that the decision on the changes was made by Parliament.
Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said in a statement that "it is deplorable that the SRs after sharing their questionnaire on February 10 did not even wait for our response. Instead, they chose to release their inaccurate assumptions to the media."
The UN rapporteurs had raised minority issues, saying, "The loss of autonomy and the imposition of direct rule by the government in New Delhi suggests the people of Jammu and Kashmir no longer have their own government and have lost power to legislate or amend laws in the region to ensure the protection of their rights as minorities." Fernand de Varennes, Special Rapporteur on minority issues, and Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief had raised fears of "demographic changes" in Kashmir post the introduction of new domicile laws. The statement came on the day more than twenty foreign envoys were visiting Kashmir Valley.