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OIC reaffirms support for Kashmiris’ just struggle for right to self-determination

United Nations: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Contact Group on Kashmir has reaffirmed its support to Kashmiris’ just struggle for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council’s resolutions.

According to Kashmir Media Service, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and senior officials of Pakistan, Türkiye, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and Niger met on the sidelines of 78th session of UN General Assembly in New York with Secretary General of the OIC, Hissein Brahim Taha, in the chair.

A joint communiqué issued after the meeting 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. It 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.

The communiqué demanded of India to reverse all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after 5 August 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. It also demanded that India should repeal all restrictive and draconian laws, allow unrestricted access to UN Special Procedures, OIC and Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission fact-finding missions, international media and independent observers to visit IIOJK.

The communiqué rejected the conduct of the G-20 Tourism Working Group Meeting, held in Srinagar on 22-24 May 2023, which was aimed to legitimize India’s illegal occupation and sought to project a facade of normalcy in 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. It denounced the Indian authorities’ fresh plea seeking death penalty for one of the renowned Kashmiri leaders Yasin Malik, who is incarcerated and has already been awarded life imprisonment.

The communiqué 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 OIC Secretary General Special Envoy’s on Jammu and Kashmir to present a report on the ground situation in IIOJK to the upcoming Islamic Summit.

Pakistan Caretaker Foreign Minister, Jalil Abbas Jilani, apprised the members of the Contact Group about the grave situation in IIOJK. He informed them that India’s continued oppressive measures in the disputed territory had exacerbated the already dire humanitarian conditions for the people.

He said, the current Indian leadership is bent upon perpetuating India’s occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. “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,” he said.

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, representing the people of Jammu and Kashmir, conveyed the gratitude of Kashmiris to the brotherly member states of the OIC Contact Group for their steadfast and unwavering support extended to them in their struggle for the right of self-determination. He said the Kashmir dispute continues to remain unresolved and international community has almost relinquished and retracted from the promise that was made to them in 1948 – the promise of right of self-determination under the auspices of the United Nations.

Dr Fai He deplored that to break the will of the people of occupied Kashmir, India has deployed over 900,000 soldiers fully armed and enjoying unbridled powers under the draconian laws. He pointed out that the atrocities inflicted on the hapless Kashmiris have been documented by Indian and international human rights organizations, like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, including 47 pages report issued by the United Nations High Commissioner on Human rights.

President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry and APHC-AJK leader, Ghulam Muhammad Safi, addressed the Contact Group online.

Barrister Sultan said Kashmir is one of the oldest issues, pending on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council. He said, the urgency dictates the UN and the OIC must come forward to support the people of Kashmir in their struggle to achieve the right to self-determination.

Ghulam Muhammad Safi highlighted the grave situation in occupied Kashmir and emphasized that the Kashmir dispute needs to be resolved for the sake of international peace and security. The inaction and passivity of the world powers has given sense of total impunity to 900,000 Indian soldiers deployed in occupied Kashmir, he added.

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