India today strongly rejected as “baseless and unwarranted” UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Fernand de Varennes’ statement objecting to holding a G20 meeting in Jammu and Kashmir alleging human rights violations there, and attacked him for acting “irresponsibly to politicise this issue”.

Permanent Mission of India in Geneva also asserted that India as G20 president has the prerogative to host its meetings in any part of the country.

In his statement, Fernand de Varennes alleged that holding a G20 meeting in Jammu and Kashmir while “massive human rights violations are ongoing is lending support to attempts by India to normalise the brutal and repressive denial of democratic and other rights of Kashmiri Muslims and minorities”.

Slamming the statement, India’s permanent mission in Geneva tweeted, “We @IndiaUNGeneva strongly reject the statement issued by SR on minority issues @fernanddev and the baseless and unwarranted allegations in it. As G20 president, it’s India’s prerogative to host its meetings in any part of the country.” 

“We are aghast that @fernanddev has acted irresponsibly to politicize this issue, misused his position as SR to publicize on social media his presumptive and prejudiced conclusions in a gross violation of the Code of Conduct for SRs,” the Indian mission said.

The UN Special Rapporteur also alleged that the government is “seeking to normalise what some have described as a military occupation by instrumentalising a G20 meeting and portray an international ‘seal of approval’, despite what Volker Turk, the UN high commissioner for human rights, told the UN Human Rights Council a few weeks ago was a worrying human rights situation in the Kashmir region”.