The remarks made by Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on March 8 regarding the Jammu and Kashmir conflict have escalated tensions between India and Pakistan. The longstanding issue has been a source of strain in the two nations’ relationship for many years.
Bhutto Zardari raised concerns about the challenges faced by women in Jammu and Kashmir during a United Nations (UN) conference held on International Women’s Day 2023. He called on the UNSC to oversee the situation in the region and monitor the human rights abuses, particularly those affecting women.
During the UNSC meeting, Bhutto said that the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir is deteriorating, stating that women are particularly vulnerable to the atrocities taking place. He proposed the establishment of a council to monitor crimes against women in the region.
As per the UNSC statement, the Pakistan minister said, “The most egregious hypocrisies and crimes against women and girls occur in foreign occupations and places where the right to self-determination is violated, such as the Palestinian Territory and Jammu and Kashmir. Against that backdrop, he stressed that all occupation forces must be held accountable to fully implement the women, peace, and security agenda.”
India has responded to the allegations made by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto regarding crimes against women in Jammu and Kashmir. India has criticized Bhutto’s comments and deemed them “unworthy of a response.”
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj termed his statement as “baseless and politically motivated”. Kamboj said, “Before I conclude, let me dismiss the frivolous, baseless, and politically motivated remarks made by the delegate of Pakistan regarding the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.”
She termed Bhutto’s comments as “unworthy of a response”, and said, “Rather, our focus is where it shall always be – positive and forward-looking. Today’s discussion is critically important to strengthen our collective efforts to accelerate the full implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda. We respect the topic of the debate and recognise the importance of time. As such, our focus shall remain on the topic.”