ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Saturday welcomed the holding of the first-ever “Open Discussion” by the Human Rights Commission of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the worsening human rights situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJ&K).

The Open Discussion session was organised under the auspices of The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) as part of 16th Regular Session of the OIC held in Jeddah from November 25-28 2019. The session was attended by all members of the commission as well as a large number of representatives of the OIC member and observer states.

“Pakistan appreciates that, like other international human rights organisations, the IPHRC has repeatedly condemned India’s illegal actions and worsening human rights situation in IoJ&K. This first-ever Open Session reflects the growing concern of the Muslim Ummah, OIC and IPHRC on the rapidly deteriorating situation in IoJ&K,” the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.

The commission strongly condemned the blatant violations of human rights in IoJ&K. It observed that the systematic human rights violations had a well-defined pattern tantamount to ethnic cleansing and genocide of Kashmiris.

India condemned for continuous use of pellet guns that killed and maimed innocent Kashmiris

The human rights body reaffirmed the right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir under the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and reiterated that India’s illegal steps of August 5, 2019 were illegal and void.

Members of the commission condemned the continuous use of pellet guns that killed and maimed innocent and unarmed civilians, arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial killings.

The IPHRC reiterated its endorsement of the recommendation by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish a Commission of Inquiry under the UN auspices to comprehensively investigate all the allegations of human rights violations.

The body assailed the Government of India for not allowing a fact-finding mission’s visit to the occupied territory despite repeated requests by the IPHRC, OIC and UNOHCHR, and agreed to undertake a visit to AJK to meet with the refugees, members of political parties and other civil society representatives from IoJ&K.

The IPHRC agreed to conduct an independent case study on the ‘use of pellet guns in IoJ&K by the security forces against peaceful protestors, including women

and children.

It demanded the Government of India must put an immediate end to the ongoing human rights violations in the occupied Kashmir; lift the curfew; restore all fundamental freedoms of Kashmiris and repeal its discriminatory laws like Armed Forces Special Power Act.

The Commission also called for providing access to the Fact-finding Missions of the UN, OIC and OIC-IPHRC; allowing the OIC and ICRC to establish a ‘humanitarian corridor’ in IoJK to reach out to the besieged population for the provision of basic food and medical supplies.

It called for implementing, without further delay, the relevant UN resolutions to allow people of Kashmir to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination through a free and fair plebiscite.

The OIC human rights body urged the United Nations and the international community to play their due role to pressurize India to take early and concrete steps in this regard.