OIC must lead

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Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has consistently been urging Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to lead diplomatic efforts to find lasting solution to Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

Again during a meeting with its Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha at the Foreign Office in Islamabad on Saturday, he clearly indicated how much importance and expectations that Pakistan has from this platform to address the problems faced by Muslim Ummah.

The Muslim world must realise that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are also an integral part of the Ummah.

It is not the responsibility of Pakistan alone to be concerned about plight of Kashmir people. The issues of the Ummah cannot be looked upon from a narrow perspective. The sufferings of people of Bosnia touched all Muslims and the same holds true for Kosovo.

Then why Kashmiris should be treated differently. There is no denying that in recent years, OIC and its secretary general has unequivocally spoken in support of oppressed Kashmiri people.

The 48th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers held in Islamabad earlier this year had adopted plan of action on Kashmir envisaging joint efforts by member states to lead the outstanding Kashmir dispute towards a peaceful resolution under relevant UN resolutions.

Under this plan, the OIC countries will raise the Kashmir issue in their bilateral engagements with India and underscore respect for fundamental human rights of the Kashmiri people, as well as lend support to monitor human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

However, there appears to be no progress on implementation of this plan of action as if any Muslim country had bilaterally raised the matter with Indian leadership, it would definitely have come in the media as in recent times, we heard the stance of Germany on this long lingering dispute.

Hence, we will urge all the OIC countries to fulfil their responsibility and stand up for rights of oppressed Kashmiri people while rising above their political and economic expediencies.