The Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr Yousef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, expressing deep concern over the grave situation in occupied Kashmir has called for an immediate cessation of Indian oppression and atrocities in the territory and urged India to peacefully resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiri people and the UN Security Council Resolutions.
The OIC Secretary General said this while presiding over the meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir in Jeddah ahead of the 14th Islamic Summit. The meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Turkey, Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan and Senior Representatives of Saudi Arabia and Niger. The True Representatives of Kashmiri people, including President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan, also attended the meeting.
In his address, Dr Yousef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said, “The Jammu and Kashmir issue is close to our hearts and is one of the most important issues on the agenda of the organization of Islamic Cooperation, and therefore our commitment to the Jammu and Kashmir cause has been and will remain firm,” he said.
He said, Kashmir movement is a legitimate struggle of the people for the realization of their rights and fully in conformity with the resolution of the United Nations and international law. “Attempts to suppress or degrade it by linking it to terrorism are, therefore, futile and in violation of UN resolutions and international law,” he said.
The OIC Secretary General while stressing for a dialogue to resolve the Kashmir dispute said, “I hope that a genuine dialogue between Pakistan and India will resume, which will be the best framework for addressing all outstanding issues, particularly the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.”
He called Kashmir as an important agenda of the OIC and asked India to cease using force against unarmed Kashmiri people. “The OIC General Secretariat has continued to highlight in all its engagements in the international forums that it is necessary to ensure that India ceases to use force against innocent and defenseless civilians in Kashmir and stop its disregard for human rights laws,” he said.
The General Secretary said that OIC would continue to work towards peaceful solution to the Kashmir dispute. “The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission will also continue to monitor serious violations of human rights in Kashmir and will continue to raise it with other international human rights bodies,” he added.
Dr Yousef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said that they were following with deep concern the bloody events against the people of occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, apprised the delegates of the continuing Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir which has led to the persecution and torture of hundreds of thousands of innocent Kashmiris. He drew the attention of the participants of the OIC Contact Group to the reports issued on Kashmir by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group (APPKG) as well as the historic debate on the human rights situation in occupied Kashmir in the European Parliament – all of which have denounced systematic torture and killings of innocent civilians in the occupied territory. He pointed out that the world is finally waking up to the worst form of Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan’s political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of occupied Kashmir in their just struggle to achieve their inalienable right to self-determination. He thanked the OIC for its unfaltering support to Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute. Noting that the unresolved dispute was a constant threat to peace and stability in South Asia, he reiterated Pakistan’s determination to resolve the dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
The Foreign Minister of Turkey expressed grave concern at the deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir. He also condemned the gross human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian troops in the territory. He emphasized the urgency of resolving the Kashmir dispute. He said that the resolution of the lingering dispute was important for peace and development in South Asia. It was the major obstacle in India-Pakistan relations and its humanitarian aspect required urgent attention of the international community, he said.
The members of the OIC Contact Group expressed their complete solidarity with the valiant struggle of the Kashmiri people. They reaffirmed their resolve to remain the voice of the Kashmiris at the international stage. The conclusions of the meeting were adopted and would be submitted for appropriate action of the Council of Foreign Minister of the OIC.
The AJK President, Sardar Masood Khan, briefed the members about the continued oppressive policies of Indian troops in occupied Kashmir. He commended the OIC’s support for the Kashmiri people in their struggle for securing their right to self-determination. He also presented to the OIC Secretary General a memorandum containing the details of the human rights violations by Indian troops in the occupied territory.
The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir was formed in 1994 to coordinate the policy of the OIC on the Kashmir dispute. Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are its members. The deliberations of the Contact Group reflect the solidarity of the OIC with the people of Jammu and Kashmir.