OIC FMs Kashmir Contact Group meets
NEW YORK – Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has described today’s Jammu and Kashmir as a sieged region where hundreds of innocent Kashmiri youth and teens have been butchered, blinded by pellets by the Indian occupation forces. Such killings have become almost a daily brutal feature of Kashmiri life. Kashmiris in IHK are denied even basic medical aid for the injured; thousands of wounded persons of all age-group are lying in the open unattended;
India does not allow any outside NGOs to visit Kashmir. He urged OIC to send an urgent situation sureying mission to the region now burning with excessive Indian fire-power. Over 800,000 Indian military and paramilitary is busy slaughtering the Kashmiris, he added.
The President was addressing OIC Foreign Ministers Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir in OIC Meeting Hall in the UN Headquarters here. The Group comprises Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Niger and Azerbaijan. The meeting was presided over by the OIC Secretary General Mr Iyad Madani.
The President presented an eight point Kashmir agenda to the world community from the OIC platform urging UNOCHA and other relevant UN agencies to explore the possibility of establishing a humanitarian corridor to provide relief to the besieged Kashmiris.
Speech text: On behalf of the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, it is indeed a great privilege for me to address this meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir. For decades, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has given continued and consistent support to the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination. Your solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir adds strength and impetus to the endeavors of the oppressed people of the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK). Year after year, you have been passing strong resolutions and issuing statements in support of Kashmiris. We convey deepest gratitude to you for that. We especially thank the OIC Secretary General, for his unremitting efforts for the promotion and protection of the rights of the Kashmiris.
As we meet today, the Indian Occupied Kashmir is burning. Since July 8 this year, following the martyrdom of Kashmiri youth leader Burhan Wani, hundreds of Kashmiri men, women and children have been killed; more than 150 civilians have been blinded by the use of lethal pellet guns; and more than 10,000 men, women and children are seriously injured because of the indiscriminate firing by occupying Indian forces. India claims that pellet guns are non-lethal. The Doctors Association Kashmir says the embedded pellets in the bodies of the victims are causing fatal lead poisoning and put pregnant women at serious risk. Further, the toxic lead deposits in children’ bodies stunt their growth.
The Kashmiris in IOK are under siege. In their own land, Kashmiris are being killed, maimed, blinded, tortured, and hounded by the occupying forces. The use of sexual molestation and rape, as an instrument of terror, is common. In IOK, peaceful demonstrations are a crime, political meetings are banned, true Kashmiri leaders have been incarcerated. Free speech is a crime, free movement is a crime, and voicing aspirations for the right to self-determination is treason. There are prolonged curfews and mobile telephone and Internet blackouts in IOK. Indian occupation forces in the territory hunt down innocent citizens in pursuit of their illicit, draconian black laws.
In the past ten weeks, a serious humanitarian crisis has unfolded in IOK. In pursuit of their policy of collective punishment, the Indian occupying forces have blocked essential supplies; assaulted families of protesters physically and sexually; and attacked villages and townships to terrorize their residents. They have not even spared ambulances and hospitals where the injured under treatment hide their identity to escape Indian wrath.
All these acts of terrorism are being committed with impunity. Human rights violations against the Kashmiris in IOK are deliberate, rampant, gross and systematic. The crime of the targeted civilians: peaceful, unarmed protests against the killings since July 8. India is guilty of violating Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions, especially the recognized International Humanitarian Law principles of proportionality, distinction and precaution.
There is a sense of urgency to take action. This is not business as usual.
We reject the Indian campaign of disinformation suggesting that Kashmiris are terrorists. Kashmiris are victims of terrorism unleashed by Indian occupying forces. India is committing terrorism against besieged and beleaguered Kashmiris.
War is not an option, because India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed states. India should stop using brinkmanship, subversion and state terrorism under the nuclear umbrella. To divert attention from its crimes, India has now embarked on a dangerous course of escalation openly threatening Pakistan; and flaunting its interference in Baluchistan. We condemn these crude attempts for distort the Kashmir issue.
We reject the fallacious Indian claim that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory whose political future has to be decided by its people through a democratic method of UN-supervised plebiscite in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. International law, the UK’s 1947 Indian Independence Act, and the Security Council resolutions, passed from 1948 to 1957, recognize and enshrine the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris. India cannot deny this right to them through its unilateral, coercive measures.
The current uprising is not an isolated incident but a manifestation of deep, widespread and long-held alienation of the oppressed people of IOK. The people have once again declared their opposition to the Indian occupation. We pay tribute to the Kashmiris for their resilience and for their constant quest for freedom despite unabated Indian terrorism. We salute them for their courage and sacrifices. And our message to them is: we are with you.
Kashmir is a test case for the conscience of humanity and international law. People ask: what would prevail? Rank mercantilism, expediency and realpolitik or rule of law for an entrapped people who have been deprived of their basic rights by an occupying power? The people of Kashmir say: no matter what happens, their will will prevail. The Government and people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir extend their full moral, political and diplomatic support to the just cause and struggle for freedom of our brothers and sisters in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
We call upon the OIC FMs Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir to: (a) Condemn, once again, the horrendous killings and brutalities in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK), the use of pellet guns, and measures used by India to terrorize Kashmiri population; and demand from India to cease such criminal activities forthwith; (b) Call upon India to rescind the Amed Forces Special Powers Act and other draconian laws;
(c) Urge UNOCHA and other relevant UN agencies to explore the possibility of establishing a humanitarian corridor to provide relief to the besieged Kashmiris; (d) Call on the OIC Secretary General to convey to the UN Secretary General and the President of the UN Security Council the gravity of the situation in IOK and its serious implications for peace and security in South Asia; and take European Union leadership into confidence to explore ways to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute;
(e) Urge the UN Secretary General to use his good offices and the recognized diplomatic tools of preventivediplomacy under Chapter VI of the Charter – enquiry, mediation and negotiation – to address the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir. (f) Urge the UN to establish Indian accountability for the brutal use of force constituting crimes against humanity and acts of genocide.
(g) Dissuade India from pursuing the path of escalation that would plunge the region into s deadly conflict. (h) Help create an atmosphere for engagement between Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir so as to explore a lasting solution of the Kashmir dispute”.—Email