Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD), an organisation of Kashmiri Pandits living in different countries of the World, has expressed disappointment at the recent statement by UN special rapporteur on minority issues.
Fernand de Varennes, UN special rapporteur on minority issues had objected to India holding the G20 meeting in Kashmir citing allegations of human rights violations. Calling the statement ‘irresponsible and malicious’ GKPD said, “We, representing the global diaspora of the aboriginal inhabitants of the Kashmir Valley, who once inhabited the entire Kashmir Valley from times immemorial, have been reduced to a steadily shrinking minority over the past decades, and were subsequently forced out completely from our ancestral lands in 1989 and 1990.
“The rise of extremist forces changed the social, cultural and religious order of the place and we were subjected to horrific genocide resulting in our ethnic cleansing from the Valley. This is the real and the only ‘demographic change’ that has taken place in Kashmir.
“Till date the so-called Independent experts and special rapporteurs on minority rights at the United Nations have remained mute spectators to our plight and there has not been a single statement of concern or support in favour of us, the real minorities of Kashmir.
“Leading International Human rights organisations like Amnesty International, Asia Watch, etc., have failed to recognise the genocide perpetuated on Kashmiri Pandits.
“In October 2018 we requested Honourable Antonio Guterres to hold a meeting with our team during his India trip so that we could apprise him of our side of the story. We have had no response to this till date.
“Even the erstwhile premier of Pakistan Imran Khan in his recent statements to the media is blaming the Pakistan Army for fomenting terrorism in the region. It is high time that International agencies like the United Nations come out with statements supporting the truth.
This statement (by UN rapporteur) also comes at a time when Kashmir is making unprecedented progress in all spheres of life.
“After the historic abrogation of Article 370 all communities in Kashmir are once again looking forward to peace and prosperity in the region.
“As such the timing of this statement is not only unfortunate, but also concerning as it indicates widespread misinformation prevalent at the Human rights cell of the United Nations which the UN special rapporteur Fernand de Varennes represents.
“We strongly urge the UN special rapporteur to retract this baseless amd partisan statement.”