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The Ministerial Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir was held in the UN Building. in New York today. The meeting was chaired by the Secretary General of OIC. The Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Permanent Representative of Niger attended the meeting. Mr. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister led the Pakistan delegation. The President of Azad Jammu& Kashmir and other true representatives of the Kashmiri people were also present. The OIC-Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) also made a statement.

The meeting, for the first time, adopted a Joint Communiqué which reaffirms the OIC position and Resolutions on Jammu & Kashmir and expressed deep concern over the worsening human rights and humanitarian situation in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IoJ&K). It welcomes the statement issued by UN Secretary General, of 8 August 2019. affirming that the position of the United Nations on Jammu & Kashmir is governed by the UN Charter, applicable UN Security Council Resolutions and bilateral agreements.

The Joint Communiqué also welcomes the UN Security Council meeting held on 16 August and affirms that Indian actions are inconsistent with International Law, UN Security Council Resolutions and India’s own solemn commitments to implement the UNSC Resolutions. It expresses grave concern over India’s actions aimed to change the identity and demographic composition of IoJ&K and to transform it from Muslim majority to a Hindu majority territory.

The Communiqué also deplores the extended lockdown of the Kashmiri people, round the clock curfew and complete communication blackout in IoJ&K and expresses serious concerns over the arbitrary detentions and arrests of thousands of people, including Kashmiri leadership, professionals and peaceful demonstrators and their transportation to prisons and detention centres outside IoJ&K.

The Contact Group deplores the indiscriminate use of force, live ammunition and use of pellet guns against unarmed civilian protestors and expressed deep concerns on lack of access to hospitals, medicines including lifesaving drugs and food supplies. It also expresses deep concerns on the abduction of young boys and their subjection to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.

The Joint Communiqué conveys deep regret of OIC that India has not allowed the OIC, IPHRC and United Nations’ Fact Finding Missions to visit IoJ&K.

The Ministerial Meeting has reaffirmed its support for the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for realization of the inalienable right to self-determination and freedom from Indian occupation. It has also reaffirmed that Jammu & Kashmir remained an internationally recognized dispute by UN Security Council resolutions, the Secretary General and under numerous bilateral agreements. It calls on the Human Rights Council to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir and also calls upon India to allow full and free access to OIC, IPHRC and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to IoJ&K in order to independently investigate reports of the gross and systematic human rights violations taking place there.

The meeting in its Joint Communiqué declared that Jammu & Kashmir dispute remained the core issue between Pakistan and India and its final settlement, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and a UN supervised plebiscite is indispensable for durable peace and stability in South Asia and beyond.

Finally, the Ministerial Meeting demanded that India:

rescind its unilateral illegal actions and reiterate its commitment to abide by the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.
provide solemn assurances that it will not change the occupied territory’s demographic composition and not allow non-Kashmiris to acquire property or residency in IoJ&K.
halt its human rights violations in IoJ&K, including the use of force against peaceful demonstrators, especially pellet guns, lift the curfew, allow peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, release all political prisoners, activists and abducted youth;
repeal its draconian emergency laws, and withdraw its heavy military presence from Kashmiri cities, towns and villages; and
provide unhindered access to human rights organizations and international media to IoJ&K to ascertain and report on the situation in the occupied territory.

The Member Countries of the Contact Group also made statements in line with the Joint Communiqué. The True Representatives of the Kashmiri people presented a Memorandum to the Secretary General.

25 September 2019

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