New Delhi, Aug 28 (UNI) India today slammed the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for its statement on Jammu and Kashmir, describing it as ''uncalled for and irresponsible,'' and asserting that India did not need any advice regarding protection of human rights of its citizens.
''We regret that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has issued a statement on the situation in J and K. This is uncalled for and irresponsible. India does not need any advice in respect of the protection and promotion of the human rights of its citizens,'' External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said in response to a question.
A statement issued by the OHCHR in Geneva yesterday called on Indian authorities, particularly security forces, to ''respect the right to freedom of assembly and expression and comply with international human rights principles in controlling the demonstrators.'' Mr Sarna said the OHCHR should be aware that the State of Jammu and Kashmir has been a victim of terrorist violence for almost two decades and all through this period, the authorities have acted within the law and with restraint.
Terrorist groups had targetted innocent civilians and had not refrained from taking women and children as hostages as in the recent incident in Jammu, he said.
''In all their actions against terrorists, personnel of the security forces have sought to ensure that no innocent lives are lost and for this objective have on many occasions laid down their lives,'' he added.
The OHCHR also called on the demonstrators to use only peaceful means when protesting.
''Leaders of the different protesting groups have a responsibility to ensure that demonstrations are peaceful and that the demonstrators are not carrying sticks, guns or other weapons and refrain from intimidation,'' the OHCHR statement said.
The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) has been deployed since 1949 in the Kashmir valley and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) to oversee a ceasefire after the partition of the sub-continent in 1947.
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