8-member OIC HR panel visits Pakistan, AJK today

Team to meet President, Premier

Syed Hameed Shaheen Alvi


A 3-day comprehensive tour of Pakistan and Azad Jamm Kashmir is being undertaken by a panel of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from today, March 27-29, 2017. The visit is considered by the Kashmir dispute affectees as most timely one that can pave way to bring down the soaring levels of killings by the occupying Indian military in the Valley. Hundreds have been killed majority among them Kashmiri youth; thousands have been put into jails and self-declared jails. They are all protesters who were agitating against the Indian parliamentary election being held in disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir, a move that quite violates the UN Security Council of 1954. The resolution says that no local election can replace the legal necessity of holding UN-approved international plebiscite in the contested State of J&K, latest reports elaborate.
The eight-member delegation belonging to eight OIC countries, reports say, will be led by Med S Kaggwa, chairperson of the IPHRC. The delegation will visit AJK to gain firsthand understanding of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and will also visit refugee camps.
Kashmir Peace Institute Secretary-General Syed Hameed Shaheen Alvi and APHC have welcomed the visit of the OIC panel to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir and assured all cooperation. The delegation will also call on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Adviser to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Kashmir Affairs Gilgit Baltistan Minister Barjees Tahir. The delegation will also meet AJK president and PM. The IPHRC requested India for access to occupied Kashmir to assess the human rights situation there. However, India has not responded to the IPHRC request so far.
Last year, in the wake of Indian brutalities since July 2016, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights offered to send a fact-finding mission to IHK. He requested full and unhindered access to the affected population, to interview a variety of individuals on the ground, including victims, witnesses, security forces and with access to relevant documentation’ to ascertain the situation that has been worsening since July 2016. This request was also denied by India.
The IPHRC has a standing mechanism to monitor the human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. Like all other international human rights bodies India continues to deny IPHRC access to the occupied territory. The visit is a manifestation of Pakistan’s commitment to unflinching political, moral and diplomatic support to the just cause of the Kashmiri people and the realization of the right to self determination promised to them under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

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