UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, is seriously concerned about the human rights situation in Indian-administered Kashmir, as well as the rising tensions between India and Pakistan, a spokesperson from the High Commissioner’s Office (OHCHR) said Tuesday.

“We urge India and Pakistan to engage in a dialogue and to de-escalate the situation,” Rupert Colville, told reporters at the regular Geneva briefing, adding: “The inflammatory remarks on both sides only fuel the tensions and could result in a further deterioration of the human rights situation.”

“We reiterate our call for unfettered and unconditional access to both Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir to enable us to independently and impartially monitor the human rights situation,” Colville added.

More than 100 Kashmiri civilians have been killed and thousands more wounded, with 150 blinded by gun pellets used by Indian security forces.

“We stand ready to support efforts to de-escalate the situation,” he concluded.

The UN has long maintained an institutional presence in the contested area between India and Pakistan. According to the Security Council mandate given in resolution 307 of 1971, the UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) observes and reports on ceasefire violations along and across the Line of Control and the working boundary between the South Asian neighbours in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as reports developments that could lead to ceasefire violations.

Recent developments, particularly reported ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC), have led to an escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan.


INP adds: The US has encouraged continued communication between Indian and Pakistani militaries to reduce tension, stating American officials are in contact with both the neighbouring countries.

"We are aware that the Indian and Pakistani militaries have been in communication with one another and we encourage these continued discussions between India and Pakistan as a means to reduce any tensions that may be out there," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in Washington.

"We are encouraged by that and we certainly would encourage those conversations to continue," he told reporters on Tuesday while responding to questions on the current tension between the two countries after the Uri terror attack.

US officials are in contact with both the countries, he said.