ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Saturday held a telephonic conversation with OIC Secretary General, Dr Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, to update him on the aggravating situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) including Indian move to alter the territory’s demography.

In his conversation, the foreign minister conveyed Pakistan’s deep concerns on the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in IOJ&K, and India’s moves to alter the demographic structure of the occupied territory.

He highlighted the recent domicile law in IOJ&K, stressing that it was in clear violation of relevant UN and OIC resolutions and international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention. The foreign minister deplored that in the garb of COVID-19 crisis, India was imposing even more stringent lockdown in the occupied territory and enhanced repression of the Kashmiri population through fake encounters, extrajudicial killings and other repressive measures.

 

He stated that occupation forces were inflicting “collective punishment” to entire communities through actions such as torching houses of local residents or razing them to the ground. The secretary-general was informed that in order to divert the world’s attention from its unacceptable actions in IOJ&K, India might resort to “false flag” operation and undertake some other misadventure which could imperil regional peace and security.

 

Foreign Minister Qureshi appreciated the OIC’s consistent support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He welcomed the statements issued by the OIC and its human rights body, IPHRC, rejecting the new domicile law and India’s other illegal actions in IOJ&K.

 

While briefing about his recent call with the UNSG and letter addressed to the President UNSC, the foreign minister urged the international community to demand from India to implement the relevant UN resolutions; restore fundamental freedoms and repeal discriminatory laws.

 

He also demanded India to allow full and free access to the OIC, IPHRC and the UN to investigate the situation on the ground; and allow Kashmiris to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination.

The foreign minister also apprised the secretary general of the rising wave of Islamophobia as well as demonization of Muslims in India in the context of Covid-19.

 

Secretary General Al-Othaimeen reiterated OIC’s steadfast support to Pakistan on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and assured that the OIC would continue to follow-up on the issue.

Highlighting that COVID-19 posed a grave threat to the entire humanity, the foreign minister appreciated the secretary general’s role in spearheading the OIC’s collective response to combat the pandemic while briefing him about the steps taken by Pakistan to contain the virus.

The secretary general also expressed his deep condolences on the tragic crash of PIA 8303 flight and loss of precious lives and the foreign minister thanked for the condolences.

 

 

Rare protest in Qatar over unpaid wages

 

 

AGENCIES

DOHA

Migrant labourers staged a rare protest in Qatar over unpaid wages, the government said Saturday, at a time of economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and rock-bottom oil prices.

Images on social media showed more than 100 men blocking a main road in the Msheireb district of the capital Doha late Friday, clapping and chanting as police looked on.

“In response to the late settlement of salaries, a small number of expatriate workers conducted a peaceful protest in the Msheireb area on May 22,” the labour ministry said in a statement.

“Following an immediate investigation (the ministry) has taken steps to ensure that all salaries will be promptly paid in the coming days.”

Legal action has been taken against the companies involved in non-payment of salaries, it added.

The oil-rich Gulf is reliant on the cheap labour of millions of foreigners, mostly from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Many live in squalid camps far from the region’s showy skyscrapers and malls.

Almost 90 percent of Qatar’s population is expatriate workers as the country completes dozens of mega-projects ahead of the 2022 World Cup. But the coronavirus and its devastating economic impact have left many workers sick and others unemployed, unpaid and at the mercy of sometimes unscrupulous employers.