Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s attendance at the 42nd session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has once again highlighted the issue of Kashmir. Despite a complete blackout in the region occupied by India, the international forces have failed to turn the situation around. This is why the attendance of this session was important and highlighted how countries are impacted at times of conflict. However, the center of attention is being granted to a faux pas made by FM Qureshi. In his address at the session, he referred to occupied Jammu and Kashmir as the “Indian state”.

The entire focus of the conversation has shifted from how the Indian government is committing atrocities throughout the region to how FM Qureshi referred to Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). This is not only diverting the attention from the actual problem but also giving the Indian authorities more time to commit acts of violence in the region. It is an established fact throughout the world that Jammu and Kashmir are disputed territories. A mere slip of tongue does not change the fact that Pakistan was actually present at the session to raise the issue of Kashmir, which FM Qureshi did quite eloquently, and a reference to IOK as the Indian state does not change the official status of the region.

The UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet urged India to loosen the curfew in the region as the current loss of communication will have a grave impact on the human rights situation in IOK. This is precisely what leaders around the world need to focus on. At a time, when totalitarian mindsets are being rejected, India should be pressurised to monitor its domestic decisions in order to maintain its status as a democratic country. It is also important to not subdue the will of the people in question. Jammu and Kashmir have remained a disputed territory for a long time and that has impacted generations inhabiting the area. It is important to rehabilitate them and make them a part of the democratic setup instead of antagonising them and pushing them towards revolt.

Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has also urged the UN to investigate in their own capacity how the population of IOK is suffering due to the lack of provision of basic human rights. India should be stopped before the lives taken away leave yet another black mark in the course of history.