OIC Contact Group demands unrestricted access by UN, global media, observers to IIOJK

Calls for holding New Delhi accountable for heinous crimes in occupied Kashmir

New York, September 22 (KMS): The Foreign Ministers of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir besides calling for settlement of the Kashmir dispute as per United Nations resolutions demanded unrestricted access by the teams of United Nations, global media and independent observers to Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The demand was raised during their meeting on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly Session in New York on Wednesday. The Secretary-General of the OIC chaired the meeting.

A declaration released by the Foreign Ministers on the occasion reaffirmed the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the recognized OIC position and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

It also acknowledged the principle of right to self-determination enshrined in the UNSC resolutions that the final disposition of the State of Jammu & Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people, expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.

Acknowledging that by its Resolutions 91 (1951), 122 (1957) and 123 (1957), the Security Council reaffirmed that attempt by the parties concerned to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State of Jammu & Kashmir, or any part thereof, would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the principle of a free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices.

The OIC Contact Group denounced India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 and subsequent steps which are in direct violation of UNSC resolutions and are aimed at changing the demographic structure of IIOJK, preventing the realization of the inalienable right to self- determination of the Kashmiris as well as violating their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and to perpetuate India’s illegal occupation of the occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The declaration recalled the statement issued by the UN Secretary General of 8 August 2019 affirming that the position of the United Nations on Jammu & Kashmir region is governed by the UN Charter and applicable UN Security Council Resolutions.

The Contact Group welcomed the three meetings of the UN Security Council to consider the situation in Jammu and Kashmir dated 16 August 2019, 15 January 2020 and 05 August 2020 and also hailed the meetings of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir on 25 September 2019, 22 June 2020, 23 September 2021 and 22 March 2022

It noted in particular that the Joint Communiques adopted by the Contact Group unequivocally rejected the unilateral Indian actions of 5 August 2019 as inconsistent with international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

It recalled the two reports issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in June 2018 and July 2019, comprehensively documenting the gross and systematic violations of human rights in IIOJK.

The OIC forum rejected the issuance of fake domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris granting them the voting rights, and amendments in land ownership laws, and any other step to alter the existing demographic structure of the disputed territory, which are in contravention of the existing UNSC resolutions and in violation of the international humanitarian law including the 4th Geneva Convention.

The declaration deplored that the Indian forces continue to perpetrate a vicious campaign of repressive actions, including extrajudicial killings of innocent Kashmiris in fake encounters; custodial killings and “cordon-and-search” operations; the use of pellet guns to kill, maim and blind peaceful protestors; the abduction and enforced disappearance of 15,000 young Kashmiri boys; the incarceration of almost the entire Kashmiri leadership; and “collective punishments” with the destruction and burning of entire villages and urban neighbourhoods.

It condemned that the entire Hurriyat leadership, the true representatives of Kashmiri political aspirations, has been under continued detention for three years with most having been subjected to brutal and inhumane treatment at the hands of Indian occupation forces.

The Contact Group denounced the sham trial and conviction of Mr. Yasin Malik on concocted charges which is the most recent example of India’s attempts to punish Kashmiri leaders seeking freedom even by peaceful means.

Paying rich tribute to the unflinching commitment of the Hurriyat leadership, including the late Syed Ali Gilani to the Kashmir cause in the face of persistent persecution and tremendous personal hardships, the declaration welcomed the role played by the relevant UN Special Rapporteurs, world leaders, parliamentarians, human rights organizations and international media, in raising their voice against illegal Indian occupation and atrocities in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

It denounced India’s continued refusal to allow the OIC Special Envoy, the OIC- Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHIRC), the UN Special Mandate Holders and international civil society organizations to visit IIOJK.

The OIC Foreign Ministers reaffirmed the support for the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination and freedom from Indian occupation and declared that the final settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and a UN supervised plebiscite, is indispensable for durable peace and stability in South Asia.

They rejected the illegal and unilateral actions taken by India on August 5, 2019 and subsequent steps to change the internationally recognized disputed status of the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and to alter the demographic structure of the occupied territory.

The Foreign Ministers called for reversal of all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after 5 August 2019 and seizure of the gross, systematic and widespread human rights abuses in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

They called for halt and reversal of the illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory including the construction of settler colonies, land confiscation, home demolitions and disruption of the livelihoods of the people of the IIOJK.

The Foreign Ministers asked India to allow unrestricted access to UN Special procedures, international media and independent observers to visit occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and take concrete and meaningful steps for the full implementation of UNSC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.

Reiterated the call on the international community to hold India accountable for the heinous crimes being committed by the Indian forces in the IIOJK, the OIC Contact Groups requested the OIC Secretary General to continue to monitor the implementation of the action plan on Jammu and Kashmir agreed during the last meeting of the OIC Contact Group on 22 March 2022 in Islamabad and present a report on the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir to the next Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

They also appealed to the OIC Secretary-General to transmit a copy of this Joint Communique to the UN Secretary General and President of the UN Security Council.

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