HR violations in held-Kashmir not India’s internal matter: OIC

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Situation heading towards a referendum; Just statements alone are not enough

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad—Human rights violations in India-held Kashmir are not an internal matter of the India, said Iyad Amin Madani, Secretary-General of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
The Secretary-General told a joint press conference along with Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz that the situation in Kashmir was deteriorating and urged the international community to act, saying the situation should be resolved at the political level.
The head of the world’s largest bloc of Muslim countries expressed concern over human rights violations in India-held Kashmir, which has seen weeks of deadly clashes between Muslim protesters and police.
Madani said, “The OIC will continue exposing the grave human rights violations in the occupied valley till resolution of the issue in accordance with the United Nations resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people.”
Voicing serious concerns over the wave of violence unleashed in Indian-Held Kashmir by the Indian troops, the Secretary-General urged the international community to be more vocal on the deteriorating human rights situation in the valley.
He said, “The international community should raise its voice against the atrocities in India-held Kashmir. Unfortunately, very few voices have come out against the Indian tyranny.”
“The situation in Kashmir is heading towards a referendum. No one should be afraid of a referendum and the solution should be through the United Nations resolutions in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The human rights violations in India-held Kashmir are not internal matter of the Indian state.”
Referring to the global concerns on the situation in IHK, the OIC secretary-general hoped that comprehensive dialogue will resume between Pakistan and India soon to address the outstanding disputes. He appreciated Pakistan’s willingness to addressing the lingering Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions.
He said those involved in human rights violations in the valley should be identified and given strict punishment.
The secretary-general said the OIC is eager that the Kashmir issue is resolved and fully supports Pakistan. He said that the OIC has a dedicated special advisor on Kashmir and a liaison group that will meet at the UN General Assembly session in the United States.
“Just statements alone are not enough when it comes to occupied Kashmir but the issue cannot be raised at the political level with silence.”
The secretary-general said he hopes the next session of the OIC will be held in Pakistan. “Pakistan has hosted many historical sessions of the OIC in the past.”
In his remarks, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz lauded the consistent support of Organization of Islamic Cooperation for the right of self- determination of Kashmiri people. Deploring the lethal use of force and extra-judicial killings of defenseless Kashmiri people, the adviser said the weeks of violence there has left at least eighty Kashmiri people killed and thousands others injured.
Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan is one of the founding members of the OIC and always contributed towards promoting fraternity and cementing strong bonds amongst the Muslim Ummah.
The Advisor welcomed Madani’s remarks, saying the two had spoken at length on the Kashmir issue. Sartaj stressed that Pakistan and India should resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue. “We want dialogue with India, but we are awaiting India’s response, after which the situation will become clearer.”
The foreign affairs advisor urged the international community and the UN must take notice of the human rights violations in Kashmir. He thanked the OIC for consistently supporting Pakistan’s stance over the issue.
Sartaj said the OIC Contact Group on Kashmir is playing effective role and would be meeting again in September 2016 during the General Assembly Session in New York in the face of the gross violations of human rights in IHK.
Earlier, the Adviser and the OIC Secretary General held wide ranging talks on matters of mutual interest including that of Afghan situation. The OIC Secretary General said that consultations are underway to hold an Ulema Conference on Afghanistan. He said we want to see peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.

Sartaj also welcomed the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s statement offering his good offices on Kashmir dispute. He said the UN Secretary-General has stressed the need for talks between Pakistan and India and hoped India will respond on the matter in a positive manner.

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