SRINAGAR: Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) had invited the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to visit Kashmir during his three days India visit. While his office has thanked the society for the invitation, it has said the “prior commitments” make it impossible.

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Antonio Guterres is flying to India for a three-visit on October 1. KCSDS had extended an invitation on September 27.

“The KCSDS considers it a great opportunity to invite you to visit Kashmir to have a first-hand information and experience of the ground reality of Kashmir and the ‘ordered and monitored disorder’ with the highest military concentration armed with AFSPA, the most draconian illegal lawless law, which is presented as a natural democratic order before the world community,” the civil society group had said in the letter, that it e-mailed to media Sunday night. The e-mail contains the entire correspondence between KCDS and the office of the Secretary-General. “There is a dance of death and destruction everywhere particularly in the valley of Kashmir.”

The invitation actually has thanked the UN body for human rights, the OHCHR, for the report that was made public past summer. The group has regretted the failure of the government in following it up.

“The gross human rights violations, crimes against humanity and the dire need to let the people of Kashmir exercise their right to self-determination has been comprehensively covered by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for which we will be eternally thankful to you though it came too late yet it is never too late as Kashmir, the paradise on earth, continues to smoulder and burn,” the letter reads. “So far there has been no affirmative action by the Govt of India on the ground in response to your detailed report, as desired by the world body. Instead, it has been in firm denial of any wrong-doing in Kashmir, flying in the face of hard incontrovertible evidence and only clinging to the integral party mantra.”

“We recognise and hugely appreciate the stentorian voice you have raised through this report for the suffering humanity in Kashmir,” the letter reads. “Your personal visit could be a great boost to the suppressed people and serve to confirm with greater vigour what your office has already found out and is now widely known.”

“The Secretary-General appreciates your kind invitation,” Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the Chef de Cabinet, of the Secretary-General wrote in her letter to the society on September 28, 2018. “Regrettably, he will be unable to accept your invitation, owing to prior commitments and pressing demands already scheduled during his visit.”

In response to this letter, KCSDS has sent SGs office another letter on September 30. “We would still request his excellency to take up the matter of affirmative action on UN report on the human rights situation in Kashmir and press for the resolution of the long-standing issue as it has kept a population of entire Kashmir in hell especially for the past 30 years,” the letter send by KCDS chairperson Prof Nayeem reads.

The UN SG is arriving on October 1, and during his three days visit, he will be meeting the president, the Prime minister and the Foreign Minister. “I remain concerned by the situation in Jammu and Kashmir – I encourage positive dialogue for disagreements to be resolved peacefully,” Guterres was quoted saying in an interview, ahead of his visit.–


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