ISLAMABAD           -         OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir has expressed deep concern over the worsening human rights and humanitarian situation in Occupied Kashmir and demanded India to stop any move towards changing the demographic structure of the held territory as they are illegal and in violation of international law.

In a joint communique issued after the Group’s virtual emergency meeting on Monday, the members rejected the newly-notified “Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Order 2020” and “Jammu & Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate Rules 2020” aimed at changing the demographic structure of Occupied Kashmir.

The communique affirmed that Indian actions of 5th of August last year and new domicile rules are in complete violation of the UNSC Resolutions, international law including the 4th Geneva Conventions, and India’s own solemn commitments to implement UNSC resolutions.

It welcomed the two reports issued by the office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in June 2018 and July 2019 comprehensively documenting the gross and systematic violations of human rights in held territory.

The forum deplored the extended, months long, lockdown of the Kashmiri people and communications blackout since 5 August last year, suppression of Kashmiris through arbitrary detentions and fake “encounters” against armless Kashmiris.

It expressed concern over India’s intensified ceasefire violations on the Line of Control, resulting in deaths and injuries to civilian population particularly women and children.

The gathering called upon the OIC Member States to raise the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in their bilateral engagements with India with a view to safeguarding the fundamental human rights of the Kashmiri people in the occupied territory, and ensuring expeditious implementation of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions

Pakistan yesterday sought Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s help as India has unleashed state-terrorism in held Kashmir.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the Hindutva agenda of the RSS-BJP combine was deliberately targeting defenceless Kashmiris with unspeakable violence to break their will.

Speaking at the virtual emergency meeting of the OIC Contact Group with regard to the growing Indian aggression in Occupied Kashmir, the FM said India was crushing the Kashmiris.

The meeting convened at the request of Pakistan was chaired by OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousaf Al-Othaimeen.

The Minister said the current Indian leadership remains bent upon perpetuating India’s illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. 

He said brute force is being used to crush the Kashmiris’ quest for their fundamental rights, especially the right to self-determination enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council and OIC Resolutions.

For the last 10 months, the minister said, the Kashmiri people have endured untold suffering from continuous lockdown, military siege, communications blockade, and unprecedented restrictions.

“These measures were imposed following India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5 last year,” he added.

Qureshi said in order to prevent the world from knowing the Kashmir reality, the occupation forces are suppressing, intimidating and incarcerating Kashmiri male and female journalists.

Pakistan has been consistently sensitizing OIC and the international community about the real Indian intention behind its actions, which is to change the demographic structure of Occupied Kashmir and further disempower and disenfranchise the Kashmiris.

He said the latest steps in this direction are the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Law) Order 2020 and the Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020.

The FM said it was highly reprehensible that while the world community is grappling with COVID-19 pandemic, India remains busy intensifying its brutalization of the Kashmiri people.

Qureshi said India is seeking to cover up the reality of the popular and indigenous struggle of the Kashmiri people, by terming it as “terrorism” and also by blaming Pakistan, raising the familiar bogey of cross-LoC “infiltration.”

As part of this cover-up, India has further intensified its violations of the ceasefire along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.

The minister warned that there is a possibility that in order to divert world’s attention from its state-terrorism and unacceptable actions in Occupied Kashmir, India may resort to “false flag” operation and undertake some other misadventure which could imperil regional peace and security.

He said that Pakistan does not want another conflict.  However, it has the will and capacity to respond forcefully and effectively, and defend itself resolutely against any act of aggression.

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Niger KallaAnkourao, OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen and AJK President Masood Khan also attended the session.

The inhuman restrictions imposed on them have exacerbated the coronavirus challenges, with access to medical and other supplies severely hampered, he said. “The RSS-inspired BJP government has refused to respond to the appeals of the UN Secretary General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to release political and other prisoners at risk in crowded jails. Indian occupation forces are operating with complete impunity under the cover of draconian laws such as PSA, AFSPA and UAPA. There are repeated instances of extra-judicial killings in fake encounters; cordon-and-search operations; and indiscriminate use of pellet guns and live ammunition against unarmed peaceful protestors,” he said, adding that in the last 20 days, 30 young Kashmiris have been martyred and Indian occupation forces are even refusing to return their mortal remains to their families for burial.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said the Kashmiri people will never accept the sinister Hindutva agenda of dispossessing them of their land, marginalizing them politically and economically, and depriving them of their distinct identity. He said the UN Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, parliaments, human rights and civil society organizations have already voiced their serious concerns.

The foreign minister said Jammu and Kashmir dispute, just like Palestine, continues to be the longest standing item on the UN and OIC agenda and the occupying powers in both Kashmir and Palestine are pursuing similar tactics to disenfranchise and dispossess the people.

The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir was formed in 1994 to voice OIC’s point of view and coordinate joint Islamic action on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. This is the third meeting of the Contact Group since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019 in held Kashmir.

The OIC has steadfastly supported the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their legitimate struggle for the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination. In addition to the meetings of the Contact Group, the OIC and its human rights body, IPHRC, have consistently pronounced themselves on the issue — condemning and rejecting India’s illegal and unilateral actions while reiterating support to the beleaguered people of IOJ&K.

The OIC Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir, Ambassdor Yousef Al-Dobeay, has visited Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir in March 2020 to reaffirm OIC’s support and solidarity with the Kashmiri people and acquire first-hand information on the situation along the Line of Control.