ISLAMABAD - The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is taking the Kashmir issue seriously as OIC Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir Yousef M. Al Dobeay arrived here yesterday for talks on the deteriorating situation in the held valley.

Ambassador Yousef M. Al Dobeay is visiting Pakistan and AJK from March 2-6, leading a six-member delegation, said a foreign ministry statement.

During the visit, the delegation will be briefed on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The Special Envoy and his delegation members will visit the Line of Control to get first-hand knowledge about the loss of lives and properties caused by indiscriminate firing of the Indian forces.

The foreign ministry statement said the Special Envoy’s visit was of particular significance in the backdrop of India’s unilateral and illegal actions of August 5, 2019 and the strong message on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute contained in the Resolutions and Communiqués of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers and Summit meetings.

The OIC has extended its steadfast support to the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for the inalienable right to self-determination. The Organization has a dedicated Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir since 1994. Since August 5, 2019, the OIC has remained actively seized of the deteriorating situation in held Kashmir. The OIC and its human rights body, Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission, have issued several statements condemning India’s actions and reiterating their principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir also has met twice since August 5, 2019.

The communiqué issued by the Contact Group’s meeting in New York at the ministerial level reflected the OIC’s strong commitment to the Kashmir cause. Under its standing mechanism to monitor human rights situation in IOJ&K, the IPHRC also held an unprecedented ‘open discussion’ on the worsening situation in held Kashmir in November 2019. The Kashmiris and the people of Pakistan value OIC’s role in espousing the cause of Jammu and Kashmir at the international level, said the statement.

Pakistan is making efforts to ensure next regular session of the OIC in Islamabad. Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said talks were on for a special session of the OIC on Kashmir in Islamabad.

“Work is underway in this regard. Pakistan desires the next regular session of the OIC takes place in Islamabad,” she said at a recent media interaction.

She said the 47th regular session of Council of Foreign Ministers OIC was scheduled to be held in Niger in April 2020. “Pakistan has already offered to host the 48th regular session of the CFM in Islamabad in 2021 as well,” she added.

The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world. It endeavours to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.

The OIC had recently issued a statement voicing concerns about India’s Muslim minority after the passage of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.