A high-level delegation of the Organisation of Islamic Countries' (OIC) Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) called on Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad on Monday.

The visit of the IPHRC delegation was agreed during the visit of the OIC Secretary General’s Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir in May, 2016.

Welcoming the delegation, Sartaj underscored the grave human rights violations of the people of held Kashmir by Indian occupation forces which had intensified since July 2016.

He condemned the reprehensible Indian practice of using live ammunition and pellet guns as a result of which more than 150 Kashmiris have been killed, 20,000 injured and scores of people, including children, have been blinded.

He said imposition of curfew in held Kashmir have made the lives of people miserable. The Indian government has created a deliberate shortage of essential food supplies, medicines, children food, petroleum products and other basic amenities, he added.

Sartaj said children are being denied their basic right to education as a number of schools have been burnt and shut down. “Hurriyat leadership either remains imprisoned or under house arrest. People are barred from offering Friday prayers in a blatant violation of religious freedom,” he added.

The adviser hoped that the visit would provide an opportunity to the IPHRC delegation to gain a better understanding of the Kashmir dispute and witness firsthand the plight of the Kashmiri refugees who had migrated to AJK to escape the Indian atrocities. “Indian denial of allowing the UN's fact finding mission and IPHRC to visit held Kashmir is regrettable. Pakistan, in contrast, welcomes both.”

Sartaj appreciated the continued support of the OIC for the struggle of the Kashmiri people and urged the IPHRC delegation to highlight the human rights violations in held Kashmir and sensitise the international community about the human rights violations of the Kashmiris by the Indian forces.

The IPHRC delegation expressed serious concern over the reports of grave human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir. They regretted that India did not respond to the request for a fact-finding mission to visit held Kashmir to assess on ground human rights situation.