New Delhi [India], Sept. 13 : With United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein requesting both India and Pakistan to give "unconditional access" to both sides to conduct independent probes into the Kashmir and Balochistan unrest, New Delhi on Tuesday responded saying that the situation in the valley has aggravated by sustained cross-border terrorism emanating from Islamabad, adding the crisis in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is different from that of Jammu and Kashmir.
Ministry of External Affair (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the UN Commissioner has been receiving conflicting narratives on the cause for confrontations in Kashmir.
"It would be recalled that the present situation arose from the death of a self-acknowledged commander of the terrorist organization Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, who was wanted for several terrorist acts.
It was further aggravated by sustained cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan," Swarup said. Asserting that terrorism is the grossest violation of human rights and should be acknowledged by any impartial and objective observer, he added the high number of casualties sustained by the Indian security forces is a reflection of the restraint they have displayed in difficult circumstances.
Talking about the suggestion for a visit of a mission to both sides of the Line of Control (LoC), Swarup emphasised that there is no comparison between the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
"The former has a democratically elected Government, while the latter has seen a Pakistani diplomat arbitrarily appointed as its head," he added.
Stating that Jammu and Kashmir is part of a pluralistic and secular democracy, where freedoms are guaranteed by an independent judiciary, Swarup asserted that PoK in contrast is administered by a 'deep state' and has become a hub for the global export of terror.
"The issue of an external mission was considered by the all-party conference on 12 August, 2016, that met to discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
It was unanimously felt that Indian democracy has all that is required to address legitimate grievances," Swarup stated.
Mentioning the all-party delegation that recently visited Srinagar, he added the government remains fully engaged in normalizing the situation as soon as possible.
"We hope that the connection between terrorism and violation of human rights would be recognized and deliberated upon in Geneva," Swarup added.
Addressing the Human Rights Council's thirty-third regular session earlier today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights requested the governments of India and Pakistan to grant an unconditional access to both sides of the LoC.
"Namely Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir in order to conduct an independent, impartial and international assessment of the claims made by the two sides as to the cause for the confrontations and the reported large numbers of people killed and wounded," the UNHR said in a statement.