UNITED NATIONS - Members of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation’s Contact Group on Kashmir Wednesday renewed their support for the Kashmiri people’s struggle to achieve their right to self-determination.
Meeting on the sidelines of the 65th session of UN General Assembly, they stressed the need for a peaceful settlement of the lingering Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.
Speaking at the meeting, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said “The indigenous movement of the Kashmiri people has gained a new momentum.”
At the same time, she deplored the fact that even after six decades, the Kashmiri people have been denied their fundamental right to self-determination. “The international community must come forward to redeem its promise to the people of Kashmir,” Khar told the Contact Group.
The meeting, held under the chairmanship of OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, was attended by foreign ministers of Turkey and Saudi Arabia and a senior delegate of Niger.
“Despite their long and strenuous struggle, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have not given up hope,” the Pakistani foreign minister said. “Brute force and oppressive laws have not been able to crush their spirit and aspirations for self-determination.”
Khar called on India to exercise restraint, accept Jammu and Kashmir as an international dispute, and ensure that there were no further killings. She also demanded that those responsible for the massgraves were brought to justice, ensuring early release of political prisoners and convict those responsible for torture, brutalities and murders.
“Pakistan remains committed to finding a just and peaceful resolution of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. “The Kashmiris need to be associated with the dialogue process,” Khar added.
Talking about the sufferings of the Kashmiri people, she said the Indian forces have shown little regard for the concern of the international community over the human rights violations.
“Pakistan is convinced that the key to enduring peace and security in South Asia lies in resolving the Kashmir issue,” the foreign minister told the delegates, which also included APHC leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Azad Kashmir President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan.
“We have underlined the imperative of a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue to amicably resolve the Kashmir issue,” she said. “Two areas in which some progress has been made are trade and cross-LoC confidence-building measures. The CBMs would contribute towards creation of a congenial environment. However, these CBMs would prove short-lived if the issue is not resolved.”
“The Pakistani leadership is committed to peace, prosperity and development of the region,” the minister said. During Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna’s recent visit to Islamabad, Khar said she reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire for a ‘purposeful and result-oriented’ discussion on the Kashmir dispute, and that the true representatives of the Kashmiri people be associated with the dialogue process.
Opening the meeting, OIC Secretary-General Ihsanoglu reaffirmed the principled position of the OIC in fully supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their struggle to achieve their legitimate rights, and called for a peaceful settlement of the dispute.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Ihsanoglu said he hoped that the whole of Kashmir becomes ‘Azad Kashmir’.
At the OIC Contact Group’s meeting, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutogl of Turkey, Deputy Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, and the senior delegate of Niger also called for a peaceful settlements of the decades-old Kashmir dispute through the ongoing dialogue process with India.
They cited the relevant UN resolutions as the basis for settling the dispute, with the involvement of Kashmiri people in the process. Pakistan efforts for a negotiated resolution of the dispute were also supported. Earlier, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq briefed the meeting on the situation in Kashmir, saying that the human rights situation there has not changed despite peace talks between India and Pakistan.
Atrocities were taking place on daily basis as also extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detentions, involuntary disappearances and ruthless suppression of political expression.