The Secretary General of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Ameen Madani, on March 3, 2015, called for peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute through dialogue process.

Addressing the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, he said that the denial of right to self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir continued to stain the collective conscience of the international community. He said that the OIC had repeatedly called for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute and believed that its just and durable solution in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people must be brought about through a sustained dialogue process. He urged Pakistan and India to resolve the long-standing dispute through negotiations.

The OIC being the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations with the membership of 57 countries and the collective voice of the Muslim world is making commendable efforts for the welfare and betterment of the Muslims across the globe. It has consistently raised the Kashmir dispute and highlighted the Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir at various fora. The grant of the status of an Observer to the All Parties Hurriyet Conference and constitution of Jammu and Kashmir Contact Group showed its commitment towards the just cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

It is a reality that from time to time the OIC has been passing positive resolutions, advocating the settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations. But these resolutions could not affect any change in the ground situation of occupied Kashmir where killings, arrests, custodial disappearances, destruction of property and molestation of women at the hands of Indian troops continue unabated. The fact is that these resolutions have lost their relevance as India instead of paying heed to them is terming the process as undue interference in its internal matters. So, it is essential for the Muslim Body to make it clear to New Delhi that Jammu and Kashmir is not its integral part but an internationally recognised disputed territory, where a plebiscite is yet to be held under the UN auspices to ascertain the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

The OIC needs to initiate strong measures to force India to come to the table of negotiations for resolving the Kashmir dispute. The OIC member states blessed with natural resources are enjoying good relations with New Delhi. They must connect their cooperation with it to its efforts for resolution of the Kashmir conflict. They need to understand that India would continue its illegal hold on Jammu and Kashmir and victimisation of innocent Kashmiri people till it does not get convinced that it would be constrained to pay cost of its brutal tactics about the Kashmiri people. Towards this end, the OIC countries need to strike a relationship between their ties with India and Indian attitude towards the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. The people of Jammu and Kashmir attach great expectations to the OIC and always hope that it would never ignore their sufferings.

The august Muslim Body needs to realise the fact that mere lip service would not work and it should employ its assertive diplomacy to pressurise New Delhi to resolve the Kashmir dispute for durable peace in the South Asia region.

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