ISLAMABAD  -   Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Thursday called upon the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to send its fact-finding mission to Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) to investigate gross human rights violations.

Addressing the meeting of OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir in Jeddah, he stressed an inquiry by OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) to look into continuous incidents of extrajudicial killings, detentions and rape by Indian security forces in the IoK.

Qureshi’s demand came as he mentioned an earlier report by United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) that called for formation of Commission of Inquiry to objectively analyze the ongoing abuses in the IoK and to fix responsibility.

Foreign Minister Qureshi, who is in Saudi Arabia to participate in OIC Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting, said “We expect the OIC Contact Group to unequivocally reaffirm its abiding support for the Kashmiris and their struggle for self-determination”.

“The people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir continue to look up to the OIC and their Muslim brethren for consistent support for achieving their right of self-determination,” he added.

He thanked OIC Secretary General Dr Yousaf Al-Othaimeen for showing solidarity with Kashmiris by convening the meeting of the Contact Group and said “such support was a source of solace and strength for Kashmiris”.

He pointed out that February’s Pulwama incident resulted in an increased frequency of victimisation of Kashmiris by Hindu extremists and deployment of an additional battalion of Indian military with its carte blanch – an unlimited discretionary power, through ‘Operation All-Out.’

He said IoK witnessed routine crackdowns, detentions, disappearances and killing in fake encounters, adding that year 2018 experienced worst spate of violence with more than 500 innocent Kashmiris killed.

He mentioned a 560-page report titled ‘Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control in Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir’ recently released by two IoK-based NGOs, namely Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons and the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society that chronicles how India continues to employ torture as a tactic to silence Kashmiris.

The report illustrates how every major state institution of India –legislature, executive, judiciary and armed forces – is complicit in crimes against humanity, he added.

Though belatedly, the foreign minister said, the world had finally started taking note of the human rights violations in IoK and mentioned the OHCHR report and the UK’s All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group that extensively document human rights violations.

He recalled a historic hearing by the sub-committee on Human Rights of the European Parliament, where parliamentarians rallied behind the recommendations of the report and called for resolution of the dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Masood Khan apprised the Contact Group members of the continued oppressive policies of Indian occupation forces in IoK.

He commended the OIC support for the Kashmiri people and for realisation of the right to self-determination.

Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal in his tweet said members of the OIC Contact Group expressed their complete solidarity with valiant struggle of the Kashmiri people and unequivocally condemned the human rights abuses.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu expressed grave concern at the deteriorating situation in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and stressed to resolve the dispute, especially in the wake of recent events.

He said Jammu and Kashmir dispute was a major obstacle in India-Pakistan relations and its humanitarian aspect required urgent attention of the international community.

The conclusions of the meeting were adopted and will be submitted for appropriate action of the Council of Foreign Minister of the OIC.

The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, formed in 1994 to coordinate the policy of the OIC on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, has Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey as its members.

 

FM DISCUSSES ISLAMOPHOBIA WITH OIC CHIEF

 

Foreign Minister Qureshi met Secretary General of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef Al-Othaimeen in Jeddah on Thursday and discussed growing trend of hatred towards Islam and Muslims in different parts of the world.

In a meeting held on sidelines of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Saudi Arabia’s port City, the Foreign Minister hoped that OIC would initiate necessary process to implement Pakistan’s proposals to combat Islamophobia, as agreed during the emergency OIC meeting in Istanbul earlier this year.

Qureshi apprised the Secretary General of the continued human rights violations of Indian security forces in IoK and lauded OIC’s unwavering support to Pakistan on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

He also thanked the Secretary General for appointing Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also apprised the Secretary General of the measures being taken by Pakistan to expand its engagement with the OIC including the establishment of the office of Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the OIC in Jeddah.

As OIC completes 50 years of its founding in 2019, the Foreign Minister informed the Secretary General that Pakistan would hold a number of activities to mark the organisation’s golden jubilee.