ISLAMABAD - The Organization of Islamic Cooperation members are united on the issue of Kashmir and endorse Pakistan’s stance, OIC Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir Yousef M. Al Dobeay said yesterday.

Speaking at a joint news conference along with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi here, Ambassador Yousef M. Al Dobeay said that the resolution of both Kashmir and Palestine issues stands at the top of the OIC agenda. “The issue of Kashmir is very close to our heart and all members are on same page on its resolution. The OIC has always strongly supported the resolution of Kashmir issue,” he said.

The OIC envoy also held separate meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Qureshi and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood. He assured OIC’s support on the Kashmir issue.

Ambassador Dobeay is leading a six-member delegation during his visit to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Ambassador Dobeay said that the OIC Contact Group on Kashmir was established in 1994 and since then it had actively raised the issue time and again. He said that a formal session of OIC was convened on Pakistan’s request after removal of special status of Occupied Kashmir by India on August 5 last year, adding a detailed report on situation in Occupied Kashmir will be presented to the office of secretary general upon his return.   He said the OIC and its secretary general had been making concerted efforts to get the issue resolved peacefully through dialogue.

Appreciating Pakistan as a strong and active supporter of OIC charter and agenda, he said the Kashmir issue had always been on the top agenda of the organization and supported by all the member states.

Ambassador Dobeay said that the OIC had adopted a number of resolutions over the Kashmir issue and continuously raising the issue besides Palestine, as both the issues had been of immense significance for the whole Ummah (nation).

He urged the United Nations to implement UN Security Resolutions on the Kashmirs’ right to self determination.

Ambassador Dobeay said that all the member countries had extended support over the Kashmir issue and stood in solidarity with Pakistan.

“The OIC is making full efforts to resolve it peacefully through dialogue,” he added.

About the purpose of his five-day visit, the special envoy said that he would visit Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the areas near the Line of Control and would submit his report to the OIC secretary general Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen.

He said that the OIC and its human rights body, Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission, had 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 had met twice since 5 August,” he added. He termed his interaction with the foreign minister and other officials very successful.

Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister Qureshi said the Pakistanis had high hopes attached to the OIC. “We appreciate the OIC as it has always raised its voice for the resolution of Kashmir issue. The situation in Occupied Kashmir has become critical with lockdown continuing since last seven months,” he contended.

Qureshi said that the Special Envoy had been briefed in detail on the human rights situation in Occupied Kashmir, as well as discriminatory laws and communication blockade by Indian occupation authorities.

“The envoy has been informed about the legal aspects of the Kashmir issue. We also briefed him on situation along Line of Control and the targeting of innocent civilians by Indian forces. India has crossed all limits,” he added.

Qureshi said that carnage of minorities, especially the Muslims, continued in India. He said Muslims were massacred in Indian capital New Delhi, where police and security forces acted as silent spectators.

FM Qureshi said the Indian steps posed a serious threat to peace and security in the region, an example of which was manifested in February last year when both India and Pakistan came to the brink of war.

He said that Pakistan was a founding member of OIC and there were many resolutions of the OIC on the Kashmir issue.

FM Qureshi suggested holding of extraordinary session foreign ministers of the OIC member states over the issue. “The special envoy would now brief the OIC Secretary General over the sensitiveness of the issue,” he remarked.

He said that the UN Secretary General during his recent visit to Pakistan had clearly expressed the world body’s stance over the Kashmir issue.

Earlier, OIC Secretary General’s Special Envoy held a meeting with Foreign Minister Qureshi at the Foreign Office in which the Indian steps of August 5 last year were discussed in contravention of the resolutions of the United Nations and OIC.

Qureshi pointed out the gross human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir by India. He said the statements of UN Secretary General António Guterres during his recent visit to Pakistan were a clear proof that Kashmir is not an internal issue of India.

The OIC Special Envoy expressed concern on the situation in Occupied Kashmir assured that OIC will play its due role for the rights of people of Occupied Kashmir, said an official statement.