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India-Pakistan to take up Kashmir issue at the UNHRC in Geneva

Geneva | Pakistan has sent its Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to present its argument against abrogation of Article 370 in the UN body.

United Nations is holding its annual session during September 9-13 at Geneva, Switzerland.

It is believed that this is the last chance for Pakistan to raise the Kashmir issue at the international level. Its campaign to corner India over the Narendra Modi government’s move to scrap special status of Jammu and Kashmir last month has not met with much success.

Qureshi will make a country statement at noon Geneva time that is expected to focus on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir following India’s decision on August 5 to revoke the state’s special status and reorganise it into two Union territories.

The Indian delegation will make its statement some hours later and will have the “right of reply”, people familiar with the developments said.

India is sending a secretary-level bureaucrat to counter Pakistan with its own set of dossiers explaining the situation that led to scrapping of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan’s continuous support to terrorism and separatism in Kashmir Valley, prohibitory orders in only a few police stations across the state and the number of casualties since clampdown is limited to five.

The delegation will be led by Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria.

India opted not to send a minister to Geneva as it didn’t want to give too much importance to Pakistan’s efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, according to reports.

As a counter to Pakistan’s statement on Kashmir, the Indian side could raise the violation of human rights of Pakistan’s minorities, forced conversions of religions, among other issues.

Pakistan is heavily banking on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Of 57 OIC members, 15 are also the members of the UNHRC. With stated support of China, Pakistan hopes it would have India cornered in the UNHRC.

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