Kashmir dispute's settlement 'indispensable' for South Asian peace: OIC

Kashmir dispute's settlement 'indispensable' for South Asian peace: OIC

United Nations (Web Desk): The member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir have reaffirmed their support for the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for realisation of their inalienable Right to Self-determination in accordance with the relevant United Nations (UN) Security Council’s resolutions.

The meeting, in which foreign ministers and senior officials of Pakistan, Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and Niger took part, was presided over by OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha on the sidelines of 78th session of UNGA in New York.

At the outset, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani apprised members of the Contact Group about the grave situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), saying that New Delhi’s continued oppressive measures in the disputed territory had exacerbated the already dire humanitarian conditions for the people.

“The current Indian leadership is bent upon perpetuating India’s occupation of Jammu & Kashmir,” Jilani said.

“The Indian authorities are brutally crushing the quest of Kashmiri people for their fundamental rights, especially the right to self-determination, as enshrined in the relevant UN and OIC Resolutions.”

In a joint communique issued after the meeting, it was declared that the final settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions is indispensable for durable peace and stability in South Asia.

The forum expressed serious concern over the statements by the Indian political leaders as well as senior military officers about their readiness to attack Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, calling such statements a serious threat to regional peace and stability.

It demanded from India to reverse all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after August 5, 2019, stop the gross, systematic and widespread human rights abuses in the IIOJK, halt and reverses the illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory, release all Kashmiri political prisoners and rescind the trumped-up and fallacious charges against the Kashmiri leadership.

The contact group of the organisation member states also demanded that India should repeal all restrictive and draconian laws, allow unrestricted access to UN Special Procedures, OIC and IPHRC fact-finding missions, international media and independent observers to visit IIOJK.

The member states expressed concern over the seizure of the office of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference in Srinagar and condemned the ongoing campaign to confiscate the properties of Kashmiri activists.

The forum denounced the Indian authorities' fresh plea seeking death penalty for one of the renowned Kashmiri leaders Yaseen Malik, who is incarcerated and has already been awarded life imprisonment.

It requested the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue monitoring the situation in IIOJK and issue a third report, in addition to its reports of 2018 and 2019, on the ongoing human rights violations there.

It also requested the Special Envoy of the Secretary General on Jammu and Kashmir to present a report on the ground situation in IIOJK to the upcoming Islamic Summit.