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The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and senior officials of the member states of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir met on the side-lines of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 20 September 2023. The Secretary General of the OIC chaired the meeting.

Having heard the report from the OIC Secretariat and IPHRC, the briefing from the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, the views of the Foreign Ministers of other member states of the Contact Group as well as the True Representatives of the Kashmiri People on the unfortunate developments in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK);

Reaffirming the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions;

Also reaffirming the earlier OIC pronouncements and resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute;

Welcoming the meetings of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir on 25 September 2019, 22 June 2020, 23 September 2021, 22 March 2022, 21 September 2022, and 17 March 2023, and reiterating the contents of the Communiques’ issued by these meetings;

Recalling 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;

Condemning the protracted detention of the entire Hurriyat leadership, the genuine voice of the Kashmiri political aspirations, and thousands of political activists, journalists and human rights defenders;

Expressing deep concern over the persistent curbs on the fundamental rights and freedoms, including the freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, in IIOJK;

Rejecting the conduct of the G-20 Tourism Working Group Meeting, held in Srinagar on 22-24 May 2023, which aimed to legitimize India’s illegal occupation of the IIOJK and sought to project a façade of normalcy in the occupied territory;

Appreciating the countries, which decided to dissociate themselves from the G-20 Tourism Working Group Meeting in Srinagar;

Condemning the campaign to seize the properties of Kashmiri activists in an attempt to punish them for their political views;

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

Welcoming 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 the ongoing egregious human rights violations in IIOJK;

Appreciating the role of UNMOGIP in observing the ceasefire on the Line of Control and expressing concern at India’s refusal to fully cooperate with it in the fulfillment of its entire mandate;

Having reviewed the latest developments in the IIOJK;

The Foreign Ministers:

Reaffirmed their support for the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions;

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;

Rejected the illegal and unilateral actions taken by India on August 5, 2019 as well as the subsequent steps to undermine the internationally-recognized disputed status of the IIOJK and to alter its demographic structure and political landscape;

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, and noting that these statements are in violation of the principles and purposes of the UN Charter;

Demanded that India:

i. reverse all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after 5 August 2019,

ii. stop the gross, systematic and widespread human rights abuses in the IIOJK,

iii. halt and reverses the illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory,

iv. release all Kashmiri political prisoners and rescind the trumped-up and fallacious charges against the Kashmiri leadership,

v. repeal all restrictive and draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Public Safety Act, and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,

vi. allow unrestricted access to UN Special Procedures, OIC and IPHRC fact-finding missions, international media and independent observers to visit IIOJK, and

vii. implement the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and enable the Kashmiri people to exercise their inalienable and recognized right to self-determination;

Expressed concern over the seizure of the office of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in Srinagar and condemned the ongoing campaign to confiscate the properties of Kashmiri activists;

Denounced the Indian authorities’ fresh plea seeking death penalty for one of the renowned Kashmiri leaders, Mr. Yaseen Malik, who is incarcerated and has already been awarded life imprisonment; and mandated the Special Envoy on Jammu and Kashmir to take appropriate steps to raise voice against the possible award of death penalty to Mr. Malik, including through writing letters to the President, UN Human Rights Council, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Special Procedures and credible human rights organizations;

Reiterated the call on the international community to hold India accountable for the egregious human rights violations being committed by the Indian forces in the IIOJK;

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;

Requested the Special Envoy of the Secretary General on Jammu and Kashmir to present a report on the ground situation in IIOJK to the upcoming Islamic Summit;

Requested the Secretary General and OIC Member States to highlight the plight of the Kashmiri people at various international fora, including the United Nations;

Requested the Secretary General to expeditiously implement the actions mandated by the CFM Resolution 8/49-POL on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute;

Further requested the Secretary General to include all Islamophobic acts against Kashmiri Muslims in the annual report prepared by the Islamophobia Observatory of the General Secretariat;

Directed their respective Permanent Representatives in New York and Geneva to regularly brief the UN Secretary General, the Presidents of the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the developments in IIOJK;

Directed the OIC Observer Missions in New York and Geneva to send a copy of this Joint Communiqué to all member states, the UN Secretary General and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

20 September 2023

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