Statement by India
at the 35th Session of the Human Rights Council on Agenda Item 2: General Debate, delivered by Amb. Rajiv K Chander, Permanent Representative of India on 07 June 2017
Thank you, Mr. President,
We thank the High Commissioner for his oral update. We recognize the role sought to be played by the OHCHR in effective promotion and protection of human rights. India was part of the first set of countries in the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review. We benefited immensely from the statements made by 103 States and the 250 recommendations made during this comprehensive Review of human rights in India. We believe that the Review is not an end in itself and that observance and promotion of human rights is ‘work in progress’.
We have noted High Commissioner’s reference to denial of access to, as he described, “the Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir”. The entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Pakistan remains in illegal occupation of a part of our territory. Therefore, the neutrality of the phrase “Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir” is artificial. Furthermore, the State of Jammu and Kashmir has an elected democratic government that represents all sections of the people unlike the situation in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
The central problem in Jammu & Kashmir is cross-border terrorism, and Pakistan’s use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy. This fact needs due recognition by one and all. We firmly believe that a policy of zero tolerance to terrorism is as much an international obligation as it is a commitment to our own people. A robust independent media and civil society combined with an impartial judiciary act as the sentinels of Indian democracy.
We remain unconvinced by the belief in certain quarters that the true promotion and protection of human rights can be achieved only through naming and shaming, particularly in the case of thriving pluralistic societies with deep-rooted democratic traditions and institutions.