MIRPUR (AJK)-The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), a body of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation, condemned India's use of excessive force and human rights violations in Held Kashmir.

The IPHRC is an expert body with advisory capacity established by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as one of the principal organs working independently in the area of human rights.

AJK President Sardar Masood Khan thanked the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for its consistent and strong support to the Kashmiri people and their demand for right to self-determination in accordance with UN resolutions and international law. Sardar Masood Khan expressed these remarks while welcoming a high-power delegation of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission in AJK's capital town.

The IPHRC delegation was comprised of Med SK Kaggwa from Uganda; Rashid bin Hamad Al Balushi from Muscat; Dr Raihanah Binti Abdullah from Malaysia; Dr Ergin Ergul from Turkey; Dr Ouman Abou Abba from Cameroon; Prof Dr Saleh Bin Mohamed Al-Khatlen from Saudi Arabia; Mr Marghoob Butt; and Mr Saqlain Javed.

The President said that in the past eight months, the Indian occupation forces have committed horrendous crimes against the Kashmiri people in flagrant violation of the UN Charter, human rights instruments and international conventions. He said that, in addition, the Indian occupation forces are violating the Geneva Convention by targeting unarmed civilians and using excessive force.

He said that IPHRC was a credible international body which was pursuing promotion and protection of human rights in accordance with OIC Charter and its statute. "We support the IPHRC's call to all stakeholders in international community to uphold the human rights commitments and obligations without discrimination, he said. He noted the IPHRC is aware that India has violated Kashmir's rights to life, liberty and personal security. Kashmiris are being persecuted because of their religion, ethnicity and political ideology, he said.

He urged IPHRC to conduct an independent and impartial assessment of crimes against humanity and gross human rights violations in Held Kashmir and publish its findings. "We know that India would not allow IPHRC to visit Indian Occupied Kashmir, as they are visiting Muzaffarabad, but sufficient material is available through reports published by independent international human rights organisations and the media. Such open source data is sufficient for the indictment of Indian practices of genocide and human rights violations," he said.

The president condemned India's refusal to respond to IPHRC's request for a visit to IOK. He expressed deep concern over the rising tide of Islamophobia under the garb of freedom of expression.

"The people of Jammu and Kashmir are a peaceful people. They want a lasting resolution of Kashmir dispute. They want to be a bridge for peace and amity. But first they must be given their basic rights particularly their right to self-determination,” the president said. He urged the IPHRC and OIC to develop mechanism to put an end to flagrant violations of the rights of the Jammu and Kashmir and intensify efforts to ensure the implementation of international resolutions for the exercise of their legitimate right to self-determination.

Kashmiris, the IPHRC knows, are a victim of the rising tide of Hindu extremism in India. "India should not be allowed to deface Kashmiri identity or denigrate Muslims as terrorists. This is a serious violation of human rights," the president said.

The leader of IPHRC delegation Mr Med S.K Kaggwa condemned India's use of excessive force and flagrant human rights violation in IOK. The delegation leader said that the IPHRC was seriously concerned about massive rights violations since July last year. He urged the Indian government to put an end to them and allow human rights organisations, including IPHRC, to see the grave situation IOK. The IPHRC said that OIC would continue to support the right of Kashmiri people to self-determination in accordance with UNSC resolutions and scores of OIC resolutions passed every year since 1990. The delegation members individually and collectively expressed their full solidarity with the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir.