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The OIC’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Yousef Aldoubeay, called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi today. The Assistant Secretary General (ASG) for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. TarigBakhit and other senior members of the delegation were also present on the occasion.

The Foreign Minister apprised the delegation about the grave human rights and humanitarian situation in IIOJK. He highlighted the fact that the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is the most militarized zone in the world as over 900,000 troops are deployed in the area and innocent Kashmiris are living under an inhuman military siege. “There is a ratio of eight Indian soldiers against one unarmed Kashmiri”, he added. Since 1989, the Indian occupation forces have killed more than 96,000 Kashmiris, widowed around 23,000 women, and raped over 11250 women and girls.

The Foreign Minister highlighted that the desperation of the RSS-BJP dispensation ruling India to control the indigenous Kashmiri movement had completely run aground. He added that India’s attempts to mislead the international community and portray a false sense of ‘normalcy’ had also abjectly failed.

The Foreign Minister added that the illegal and unilateral actions of India since 5 August 2019 were meant to disenfranchise the Kashmiris and alter the demographic structure of the IIOJK from Muslim majority into a Hindu dominated territory. He stated that these illegal actions were in clear violation of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention.

The Foreign Minister also underscored that the sufferings and plight of the Kashmiris have increased in the wake of the COVID-19. There is a ‘double lockdown’ in IIOJK and people have been facing lack of access to hospitals, medicines including lifesaving drugs and critical supplies including oxygen kits and ventilators. The lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic are estimated to have cost around US$ 9.5 billion to the economy of the IIOJK. In this regard, the Foreign Minister mentioned that the mandate given to the Humanitarian Affairs Department by the 47th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Niamey, Niger (November 2020), ‘to examine and analyze the egregious violations of international human rights and humanitarian standards in the IIOJK with particular reference to the COVID-19 pandemic’ is both apt and timely.

The Foreign Minister also highlighted to the delegation that during his recent visit to New York for the 76th session of the General Assembly, he drew particular attention to the gross and systematic violations of human rights in the IIOJK and the destabilizing role of India in the region. In this regard, the Foreign Minister welcomed the joint communiqué adopted during the meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir in New York on 23 September 2021 which unequivocally reaffirmed the OIC’s principled stance on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and firmly repudiated India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019.

The Foreign Minister thanked the visiting delegation and hoped that their work would continue to strengthen and mobilize OIC for the realization of the Kashmiris right to self-determination.

11 November 2021

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