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The Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, led the high level delegation of Pakistan to the OIC Contact Group meeting on Jammu and Kashmir, which was held today on the sidelines of the 70thSession of the UN General Assembly, in New York. The meeting was chaired by OIC Secretary General Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani and attended by the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Azerbaijan and Directors General from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia and Niger.

In his inaugural remarks, the Secretary General noted that OIC had always demonstrated complete solidarity with the Kashmiri people in their struggle for realization of their right to self-determination. He stressed, that the Contact Group was not just about reiteration of the known OIC position on Jammu and Kashmir, but more importantly a forum for reviewing the latest developments and making recommendations, for taking practical measures by the OIC. He expressed concern over the escalating tensions and called upon India to show flexibility and start negotiations with Pakistan for peaceful settlement of the dispute, in accordance with wishes of Kashmiri people and the UNSC resolutions.

In his key-note address, the Adviser thanked the members of the Contact Group for their persistent solidarity with the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir and the steadfast support to their right to self-determination. The Adviser recalled that Pakistan wanted a just and peaceful solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, based on the UN Security Council Resolutions which remained unimplemented to this day.Instead of upholding the UN resolutions and fulfilling its own pledges to the people of Kashmir, India was trying to quell Kashmiri struggle by use of brute force. Over the last two decades alone, Indian forces have killed more than 90,000 innocent Kashmiris and committed the worst human rights violations under the draconian security laws that have evoked sharp criticism from international community and the international human rights organizations. Kashmiris had rejected the sham elections conducted under heavy military presence, which were also not tenable under UNSC resolutions. The Kashmiri leaders continued to remain in detention while innocent citizens, including women and youth, were arrested for hoisting Pakistani flag. The Adviser also informed that India wastrying to change the demographic make-up of Jammu and Kashmir by settling non-State, non-Muslim subjects in occupied areas. The ban by the Indian authorities on slaughtering of cow at EidulAzha and suspension of the passports of the prominent Kashmiri leaders to prevent their participation in the Contact Group meeting, was a violation of fundamental rights. The Adviser called upon the OIC member states to carefully ponder over India’s persistent refusal to hold dialogue with Pakistan and its implications for peace in the region.

The Ministers and the senior representatives attending the contact group emphasized the following points:

. OIC should make it a practice to mention the UNSC resolutions pertaining to Kashmir in all its reports and documents. It was a legal issue and should be raised by the OIC at all international fora as a violation of international law,to ensure full and early implementation of UNSC resolutions on Kashmir.

. Jammu and Kashmir dispute was not only an obstacle in the relations between India and Pakistan but also a humanitarian and human rights issue. The OIC cannot remain silent over the continued killings of the Kashmiri people.

. Expressing concern over cancellation of talks by India and the rising tensions across LoC, the Ministers called on the parties to resume negotiations without delay and engage in a meaningful dialogue for the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UNSC resolutions and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

. Jammu and Kashmir was a long-standing conflict on the agenda of the UN Security Council and the OIC. It can be resolved only by realizing the right to self -determination of the Kashmiri people in accordance with international law. Any settlement of the conflict must take into account the aspirations of Kashmiri people.

. The longstanding dispute of Jammu and Kashmir could not be resolved even as the UN was celebrating its 70th anniversary. OIC member states should take lead and proactive role in resolving outstanding disputes of the Muslim world.

The President of AJK Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan and the delegation of the True Representatives of Kashmiri people, represented by Mr. Ishtiyaq Hameed, also delivered statements in which they highlighted the serious human rights and humanitarian situation arising from the continued Indian occupation, oppressions, detentions, extrajudicial killings and the recent spike in ceasefire violations along the LoC. The Kashmiri delegation also presented a Memorandum to the Secretary General containing proposals for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Concluding the meeting, the Secretary General decided that the Contact Group would submit a comprehensive report to the OIC Foreign Ministers, fully reflecting the views expressed by the member states. The report would highlight the continued relevance of UNSC resolutions andinstruct the Independent Human Rights Commission of the OIC to highlight the Indian attempts to change the social fabric of Jammu and Kashmir. It was also decided to ask IESCO and IRCICA to highlight the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir at appropriate fora.

New York

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