Minutes after a sensational newsbreak stating that the Pakistani Islamist Zafar Bangash has admitted that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, was in constant touch with him while preparing the Human Rights report on Kashmir. Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami has raised a few questions for the United Nations High Commissioner.
While speaking at a conference on Kashmir in Mississauga, Bangesh revealed:
"I can say it to you, and I say it with all humility, but with great pride that we 'The Friends of Kashmir' also have a role in the production of this report. IIn fact, I had personal correspondence with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, e-mail correspondence in which he responded to my personal letter and e-mail saying that he would like to have access to both sides of Line of Control, that means in Azad Kashmir and Indian occupied Kashmir"
Confessing lobbying and consultation with officials in Islamabad, Bangesh added:
"I responded to him (Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein) after speaking to the Foreign Office spokesperson in Pakistan, Mr. Nafees Zakaria, who used to be the Consul General in Toronto and he assured that Pakistan would welcome the UN High Commissioner and their representatives to Pakistan and they will facilitate their visit to Azad Kashmir."
(Watch Republic TV's Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami raising questions in the video above)
The UN had released the first-ever report on alleged human rights violations in both Kashmir and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
The report states that it is not based on any on-ground assessment and is instead based on "remote monitoring". It cites a number of publications and reports in India and also states that such quality and quantity of information wasn't available in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir:
"The quantity and quality of information available on Indian-Administered Kashmir contrasts significantly to Pakistan-Administered Kashmir. Despite challenges, NGOs, human rights defenders and journalists are able to operate in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, generating documentation on the ongoing human rights violations there. Restrictions on the freedoms of expression, opinion, peaceful assembly and association in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan have limited the ability of observers, including OHCHR, to assess the human rights situation there. Nevertheless, OHCHR used the information that is available to address the human rights violations occurring in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan."