OIC Contact Group on Kashmir meets on sidelines of UN General Assembly session in New York
ISLAMABAD, Sep 24 (Asia Free Press): The Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) on Thursday condemned India for human rights violations and reaffirmed its longstanding support for the “right of self-determination” of the people of the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir by UN Security Council resolutions.
In a joint statement issued after a meeting of the foreign ministers of OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir in New York, they stressed that lasting peace in South Asia cannot be achieved without a “just” settlement of the core dispute.
The foreign ministers of the Muslim bloc met on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, with the OIC secretary-general in the chair, according to the statement, issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.
The Foreign Ministers denounced India’s August 2019 actions, and subsequent steps to “alter the demographic structure of the Himalayan valley through the issuance of over 4.2 million domiciles to non-Kashmiri Indian citizens.”
The Muslim countries’ Foreign Minister affirmed that Indian actions are inconsistent with international law, applicable UN Security Council resolutions, and India’s solemn commitments to implement UNSC resolutions.
New Delhi scrapped the long-standing semi-autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir on Aug. 5, 2019, promoting Islamabad to downgrade its diplomatic status and halt trade with the longtime rival.
The OIC said that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute that has been and continues to be on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) since 1948 and reaffirmed by the relevant UNSC resolutions granting the Kashmiri people their inalienable right to self-determination;
The Muslims bloc denounced India’s continued refusal to allow the Special Envoy, the UN Special Mandate Holders, and international civil society organizations to visit the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir [IIOJK].
Expressing deep concern that the COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated the grave humanitarian situation in the IIOJK, and noting with deep concern that the suffering of the Kashmiri people has been exacerbated by lack of access to hospitals, medicines including lifesaving drugs and food supplies, according to the joint statement.
Denouncing the deliberate Indian policy to deny and deprive the Kashmiris of essential medical supplies by shifting them to Indian states, and to exploit the pandemic to further perpetuate its oppressive reign in the IIOJK, it said.
Expressing deep condolences to the Kashmiri people over the sad demise of the revered Kashmiri leader, Syed Ali Geelani, and paying homage to his unflinching commitment to the Kashmir cause in the face of persistent persecution and tremendous personal hardship. It was noted that Kashmir’s natural accession to Pakistan was an element of faith for Syed Ali Geelani; he was a true voice and hero of the Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination, who never lost his ideological mooring for a single moment.
The OIC deplored the unconscionable act of snatching mortal remains of Syed Ali Geelani from his family by the Indian occupation forces and denying them the right to organize a funeral as well as to bury him as per his will;
The meeting also denounced the gross human rights violations committed against Kashmiri leadership and human rights defenders in IIOJK, who are consistently being traumatized, tortured, subjected to cruel treatment;
“Condemning the use of pellet guns and live fire-arms by the Indian security forces, the use of the so-called ‘cordon-and-search operations’, imprisonment of Kashmiri political leaders, staged ‘fake encounters’, and a deliberate killing spree of Kashmiri youth as a punitive tool to punish entire communities,” said the statement.
The OIC also demanded from New Delhi to reverse all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after 5 August 2019, and stop the gross, systematic, and widespread human rights abuses in the IIOJK, halt and reverse the illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory, allow unrestricted access to UN Special procedures, international media and independent observers to visit IIOJK, and take concrete and meaningful steps for the full implementation of UNSC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.
The Foreign Ministers also called for conduct an independent investigation against well-documented cases of human rights violations including extra-judicial killings, sexual violence by the Indian occupation forces in the IIOJK.
The OIC requested to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to monitor the situation of human rights in IIOJK to continue reporting on the matter and directed their respective Permanent Representatives in New York and Geneva to regularly brief the UN Secretary-General, Presidents of the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council, President of the Human Rights Council and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the evolving developments in IIOJK.
The Muslim countries Foreign Ministers also called upon the international community to hold India accountable for the heinous crimes being committed by the Indian occupation forces in the IIOJK.