AJK urges world powers to help resolve Kashmir issue

MIRPUR (AJK) – AJK President Sardar Masood Khan called upon the United Nations’ secretary general to appoint a Special Representative in Jammu and Kashmir to end carnage of Kashmiris and facilitate a just and lasting solution to the dispute.

The president said this while addressing the annual meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)’s Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session in New York, says a message reaching and released to the media.

The AJK president in his speech made a fervent appeal to the OIC, on behalf of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, to use its good offices to urge the United Nations to impress upon India to immediately end human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Through the OIC forum, he also presented the following demands to the international community: a) establishing a Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights situation in IOK; b) the UNSC and HRC should ask India to stop demographic changes in the occupied territory, which are in violation of international law and conventions and constitute war crimes; c) immediate repeal of its two  black laws – Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act; d) UNSC to take decisions and activate mechanisms to implement its own resolutions to allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination through a free, fair and impartial plebiscite; e) India should withdraw the bulk of its occupation forces from IOK; f) India should immediately release leaders of the Joint Resistance Leadership and All Parties Hurriyat Conference, as well as thousands of political prisoners, incarcerated in Indian jails.

He further demand that India should drop its opposition to dialogue and diplomacy and establish communication with the parties to the dispute, especially Pakistan, the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the United Nations; UNMOGIP reports be regularly submitted to the UN Secretary General and the members of the UNSC, and finally; UN Secretary General appoint a Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir who would find diplomatic ways to end carnage of Kashmiris and facilitate a just and lasting solution  of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

He said that situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir continues to be grim and gruesome, where the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris continues to be denied and the human rights of the people of the IOK are being trampled by India without accountability.

Earlier this year, he said, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published a comprehensive report, which lists a long inventory of ghastly and horrendous violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people. These include killing and blinding of hundreds of people, excessive use of force against peaceful, unarmed civilians, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, enforced disappearances, and systematic use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war.

According to the report, Kashmiris’ rights to life, health, education, freedom of expression and access to justice are being violated with impunity, he said. He fully endorsed the OHCHR’s recommendations to fully respect the right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law; for India to urgently repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act – the two draconian laws; and establishing a Human Rights Council (HRC) Commission of Inquiry to conduct a comprehensive international investigation into human rights violations in IOK.

Masood also said that the same probe commission would be welcomed and fully facilitated in Azad Kashmir. He said that India sabotages the work of the United Nations Military Observers Group India Pakistan (UNMOGIP) along the Line of Control.

Welcoming the recent statement of the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, President Masood Khan said that she has rightly voiced her concern about the continuing human rights violation in IOK by saying that, “the people of Kashmir have exactly the same rights to justice and dignity as people all over the world.”

Expressing his utter dismay over Indian obstinacy and rejecting Pakistan’s offer for talks between Foreign Ministers of both the countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Session, the President said that instead of engagement, Indian leaders, and their army chief, have chosen to fuel war psychosis by threatening Pakistan and Kashmiris with aggression.

Sardar Masood Khan said Kashmiris are beholden to the OIC Secretary General for his support and for convening OIC Contact Group meetings for passing resolutions on the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and calling for an end to human rights violations, year after year.

He expressed his gratitude to the OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) which, last year, published its own report on the human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir and condemned India’s attempts to change the demography of the Muslim majority areas urging the United Nations to stop such moves.

President went on to say that people of Jammu and Kashmir welcome the IPHRC’s recommendation to coordinate and collaborate with the Islamic Development Bank and Islamic Solidarity Fund to establish projects for the livelihood, health and education sectors in IOK and in the refugee camps in AJK to provide minimum relief to the victims of Indian repression. The Commission, he said, had also urged OIC members to consider using the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement against India if it continues to violate the human rights of Kashmiris.

The event was attended by Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, OIC Secretary General; Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey; and diplomats of member countries.

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