The Contact Group of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Jammu and Kashmir met today at the Ministerial level on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly Session in New York to take stock of the political and security environment as well as the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). This was the only OIC Contact Group meeting held on the margins of the 76th UNGA Session.
The OIC Secretary General, Dr. Yousaf Al-Othaimeen, chaired the meeting. The Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and a senior representative of Niger attended the meeting and delivered statements.
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi led the Pakistan delegation.
In his opening remarks, the OIC Secretary General reaffirmed the OIC’s commitment to a peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations as well as of the OIC Summits and Council of Foreign Ministers.
In his keynote address, Foreign Minister Qureshi drew attention to the worsening situation in IIOJK since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019. He stated that the RSS-BJP regime in India was implementing what its rulers ominously called a “Final Solution” for IIOJK. Highlighting the plight of the Kashmiris, he underlined that Indian occupation forces continued to conduct cordon-and-search operations, put down protests violently, use pellet-guns indiscriminately, imprison Kashmiri political leaders, abduct and torture children and women, and stage fake encounters in IIOJK.
The Dossier released by the Government of Pakistan on India’s human rights violations in IIOJK was circulated to the participants of the OIC Contact Group. Foreign Minister Qureshi also called on the international community to take immediate cognizance of the compelling evidence contained in the Dossier and hold India accountable for the heinous crimes being committed by its Indian occupation forces in IIOJK.
Statements from the President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the True Representatives of the Kashmiri People, and the OIC-Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) were made part of the meeting’s record.
Reaffirming the OIC’s principled position, members of the Contact Group expressed solidarity with the people of IIOJK and shared their deep concern at the continued violations by India of the fundamental human rights of the Kashmiri people.
Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated the OIC’s consistent and unequivocal support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He highlighted that the adoption of the Joint Communiqué by the Contact Group was yet another manifestation of the OIC’s commitment to the Kashmir cause.
In the unanimously adopted Communiqué, the Contact Group:
• Reaffirmed its support for the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination and freedom from Indian occupation;
• Denounced the unilateral and illegal Indian actions of 5 August 2019;
• Rejected the attempts to change the demographic structure of IIOJK through the issuance of over 4.2 million domiciles to non-Kashmiri Indian citizens;
• Welcomed the meetings of the UN Security Council on 16 August 2019, 15 January 2020 and 5 August 2020 to discuss the grave situation in the IIOJK;
• Condemned the criminal and reprehensible act of snatching the mortal remains of Syed Ali Geelani by the Indian occupation forces from his family and denying them the right to organize a funeral in accordance with his wishes and Islamic traditions;
• Called upon the international community to take immediate cognizance of the compelling evidence contained in the Dossier issued by the Government of Pakistan on 12 September 2021 and to hold India accountable for the heinous crimes being committed by the Indian occupation forces in the IIOJK;
• The Contact Group demanded that India:
➢ reverse all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after 5 August 2019, immediately stop human rights violations, and halt and reverse the illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory;
➢ provide unhindered access to the OIC, IPHRC and UN Special Procedures and Mandate holders, OIC Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir, and international media to investigate into human rights violations in IIOJK;
➢ allow the family of Syed Ali Geelani and the Kashmiris to carry out his last rites in accordance with their wishes and Islamic traditions;
➢ immediately release detained Kashmiri political leaders and youth in arbitrary detention in jails across India;
• Requested the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to monitor and report on the situation of human rights in IIOJK.
• 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 UN Human Rights Council and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the evolving developments in IIOJK;
• Requested the OIC Secretary General to write a letter to the President of India seeking a visit by an OIC fact finding mission to IIOJK for conducting an independent verification of the situation on the ground, and to take steps to ameliorate the situation;
• Requested the OIC Secretary General to highlight the worsening situation in IIOJK at various international fora, including the UN, and call for immediate steps to ameliorate the humanitarian and human rights situation in IIOJK and provide a resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
• Agreed to develop a comprehensive Plan of Action on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to be adopted during the 48th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad in March 2021.
23 September 2021
Last modified: September 23, 2021
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