ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday urged the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to step up its efforts to facilitate a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue, saying the oppressed people of the occupied valley were counting on the forum and Muslim Ummah more than ever now. “The OIC must urge India to rescind its unilateral and illegal actions since August 5, 2019, implement the relevant UNSC resolutions to hold a UN-supervised plebiscite, halt its blatant human rights violations and provide unhindered access to […] human rights organisations and international media to investigate and report on the situation in the occupied territory,” he said during a virtual meeting meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.
The foreign minister also urged the group to lend support for actively raising the issue at international forums.
He said the situation in Kashmir had further aggravated since Sept 25, 2019, when the group last met in New York. “It is marked by gross and systemic violations of human rights, and an escalating threat to regional peace and security.
“The current Indian leadership remains bent upon perpetuating India’s illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. The ‘Hindutva’ agenda of the RSS-BJP combine is deliberately targeting defenceless Kashmiris with unspeakable violence to break their will.”
He said that Pakistan has consistently been raising the issue with the OIC and the international community about India’s “real intentions to change the demographic structure [of the occupied valley] and further disempower and disenfranchise the Kashmiris”.
“It is highly reprehensible that while the world community is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, India remains busy intensifying its brutalisation of the Kashmiri people.” He maintained that India was seeking to cover up the indigenous struggle of the Kashmiris, by calling it “terrorism” and by blaming Pakistan. As part of this cover up, India has intensified ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary, he said. “Since January 1, India has committed 1,440 ceasefire violations [and] has deliberately targeted innocent civilians on the Pakistani side of the LoC, killing 13 and injuring 104, including women and children.” He added that despite India’s “belligerent rhetoric and aggressive actions”, Pakistan had showed maximum restraint. “Pakistan does not want another conflict. However, it has the will and the capacity to respond forcefully and effectively, and defend itself resolutely against any act of aggression.” In a statement issued after the eeting, OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef A Al-Othaimeen stressed the group’s commitment to finding a peaceful settlement for the Kashmir issue.
“At the same time, I call on the international community to strengthen its efforts to assist the people of Kashmir to decisively practice their legitimate rights denied for decades,” the secretary general said.
The group also reaffirmed the continued support for the people of occupied Kashmir and called on the United Nations secretary general to urge India to abide by the UN Security Council’s (UNSC) resolutions and engage in dialogue.