India, Pakistan to face off at the United Nations today

India will need support among the 47 members who make up the UNHRC

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Both India and Pakistan are scheduled to make statements on the Jammu and Kashmir issue before the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC). The UNHRC session commenced today, extending till September 27. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will argue against India on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. India will counter-charge. India will need support among the 47 members who make up the UNHRC. Times of India reported that both Imran Khan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak before UN on the same day, on September 27. 

Earlier, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal had urged External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to take up the issue of targeting of minorities in Pakistan. Badal wrote to Jaishankar, saying the manner in which the population of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan has reduced from 2.5 lakh at the time of the partition to a mere 7,000 now was in itself a proof of persecution of minorities.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, made "important remarks about the deteriorating situation in Jammu and Kashmir" during the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. "The UN High Commissioner's concerns and calls are consistent with the position taken by the UN system vis-a-vis the human rights situation in Kashmir including the continuing restrictions and crackdown on fundamental rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people," the Foreign Office said.

UN human rights chief Bachelet on Monday expressed "deep concern" over the impact of restrictions in Kashmir, and asked India to ease the current lockdowns to ensure people's access to basic services. Bachelet also asked Pakistan and India to ensure that the human rights of the Kashmiri people are respected and protected, amid tensions between the two neighbours after the abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir by New Delhi.