OIC’s Kashmir Group reaffirms support to Kashmiris, says dispute’s settlement ‘indispensable’ for South Asian peace

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NEW YORK (APP): The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, which held a meeting in New York Thursday, reaffirmed its support to their “just” struggle for the exercise of their right to self-determination while emphasizing that settlement of the Kashmir dispute under UN Security Council resolutions was “indispensable” for durable peace and stability in South Asia.

The meeting, in which Foreign ministers of Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Azerbaijan, as well as a senior Niger diplomat, took part, was presided over by OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen.

At the outset, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi apprised members of the Contact Group about the grave situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K), saying that New Delhi’s prolonged siege of the disputed territory had exacerbated the already dire humanitarian conditions for the people.

A joint communique issued after the meeting underscored 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.

It calls for reversing 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 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 Communique also calls for:

Conducting 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;

Allowing the family of Syed Ali Geelani and the Kashmiris to carry out his last rites in accordance with their wishes and Islamic traditions, and immediately release detained Kashmiri political leaders and youth in arbitrary detention in jails across India;

Requesting the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to monitor the situation of human rights in IIOJK with a view to continuing reporting on the matter;
Directing 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;

Requesting the OIC Secretary-General and OIC member states to highlight the worsening situation in IIOJK at various international forums including the United Nations and call for immediate steps for amelioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation and peaceful resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute;

Urging the OIC Secretary-General to write a letter to the President of India seeking a visit by an OIC fact-finding mission to visit IIOJK to conduct independent verification of the situation on the ground, and to take steps to ameliorate the situation;

Requesting the Special Envoy of the OIC Secretary-General to engage UN Special Procedure Mandate Holders and international human rights organizations to draw global attention to the gross and systematic violations of human rights in the IIOJK;
The international community to hold India accountable for the heinous crimes being committed by the Indian occupation forces in the IIOJK;

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