OIC-IPHRC delegation concludes visit to Pakistan, AJK

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The Independent Permanent Human Rights Com-mission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) concluded its 5-day visit to Paki-stan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

The 12-member IPHRC delegation was led by its Chairperson, Dr. Saeed Al Ghufli. The visit was undertaken in compliance with the mandate pro-vided by the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) to assess the deteriorating human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

The IPHRC – an independent expert body of the OIC – has established a Standing Mechanism for that purpose which regularly moni-tors and reports on the dismal state of human rights in IIOJK, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokes-person’s Office statment said.

During its stay in Pakistan, the IPHRC delega-tion was received by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qure-shi, and the Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Khan Gandapur.

The delegation also met the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Affairs headed by Mr. Shehryar Afridi as well as Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, the statement said.

In AJK, the IPHRC delegation called on Presi-dent Masood Khan and widely interacted with Kashmiri refugees from IIOJK, leadership of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Kashmiri civil society and media representatives.

The IPHRC delegation also visited the Line of Control (LoC) and met with the victims of ceasefire violations carried out by Indian security forces, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson’s Office said.

The statement further said that the aim of these extensive and wide-ranging interactions was to as-sess the human rights and humanitarian situation in IIOJK, and to investigate and report on the human rights abuses by the Indian security forces in the occupied territory with a view to making recom-mendations for the promotion and protection of Kashmiris’ basic civil, political, social, economic, religious and cultural rights including their inalien-able right to self-determination, guaranteed by nu-merous resolutions of the UN Security Council.

The IPHRC delegation also witnessed the hu-man impact of the indiscriminate shelling carried out by Indian security forces across the LoC which results in the precious loss of lives, injuries to civil-ians including women and children, and damage to civilian property and infrastructure in AJK, the Min-istry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson’s Office said.

The visiting delegation was provided unfettered access by the Government of Pakistan to undertake its mandated task with objectivity.

In due course, a detailed report of the findings of IPHRC will be presented, with concrete recommendations, for the consideration of the next (48th) session of the OIC-CFM.

Several requests have been made by the IPHRC to India over the years for allowing a fact-finding mission to IIOJK.

However, despite its false claims of “normalcy” in the occupied territory, India con-tinues to deny access to the IPHRC as well as other human rights organizations to visit IIOJK.

An IPHRC delegation had earlier visited Pakistan and AJK in March 2017, and issued a detailed report which documented the gross and systematic viola-tions of human rights by Indian security forces in IIOJK.—KMS

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