39th Session UNHRC: Q&A Session during EFSAS Side-event at UNHRC
The Side-event organized by EFSAS during the 39th Session of the UNHRC was followed by a vibrant Q&A session, during which the audience and speakers engaged in a debate on issues pertaining to terrorism and human rights violations in South Asia. Questions concerning the legal status and water security issues of the current diversion of the Neelum river in Pakistan Administered Jammu & Kashmir by Pakistan, which has resulted a drought-like situation in the region and exploitation of resources in the vicinity of Muzaffarabad (Pakistan Administered Jammu & Kashmir), were addressed to the panel.
During the Q&A Session, Director of EFSAS, Mr. Junaid Qureshi, thoroughly discussed the OHCHR Report on Jammu & Kashmir and explained its methodological, factual and analytical errors, highlighting the omission of first-hand valuable information brought to the UN Human Rights Council by human rights activists from Pakistan and Pakistan Administered Jammu & Kashmir. He further made recommendations for required steps that the EU and UN should undertake in order to counter growing terrorism emanating from Pakistan in the region.
The boundaries between terrorists and freedom fighters were further clarified by Mr. Paul Stott and Mr. Junaid Qureshi, who both argued that political, ideological and religious struggles should not be pursued through violent means, which endanger the lives of innocent civilians. Mr. Paul Stott elaborated and said that when Nation States are involved and are supporting self-declared armed groups in order to carry out its strategic objectives, it is clearly a manifestation of terrorism, therefore it is a failure on behalf of the OHCHR that it did not define Pakistan’s support to Terrorists organizations operating in Jammu & Kashmir as such.
Finally, Mr. Jason Wiseman illuminated the growing phenomenon of hybrid terrorism, which in essence stands for terrorist outfits that claim they are legitimate organizations, since oftentimes they offer social services as a cover-up and are provided with political representation by the governmental authorities. He concluded that such organizations are highly dangerous; hence, the civil society and platforms such as the UN and EU should combine efforts to combat them.
Q&A Session during EFSAS Side-event at the 39th Session of the UNHRC