Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

OIC asks UN to call on New Delhi to halt HR violations in IIOJ&K

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NEW YORK, SEP 21 (DNA) – The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, which met in New York, voiced “deep concern” over the continued human rights violations by India in occupied Kashmir, and called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council to take steps to end those abuses.

The meeting, which was requested by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, was held on the eve of the UN General Assembly’s high-level debate opening.

Attending the meeting were permanent representatives of Saudi Arabia, Niger, Azerbaijan and Pakistan. The OIC Secretary General was represented by the Permanent Representative of the OIC Observer Mission to the UN, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev.

The OIC group discussed the worsening human rights situation in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), according to a press release issued by Pakistani Mission to the UN.

Reaffirming its stand on the Kashmir dispute, the Contact Group also urged the UN chief to press India to rescind the unilateral and illegal measures taken on and after 5 August 2019 and to implement the Security Council resolutions calling for a plebiscite to enable the Kashmiri people to exercise their right to self-determination.

Conveying a special message of the Foreign Minister Qureshi to the meeting, Ambassador Munir Akram stated that the RSS-BJP regime in India was implementing what its rulers had themselves called a “Final Solution”.

The regime was engaged in systematically engineering a demographic change in IIOJK through new domicile rules, he said. The issuance of 1.6 million domicile certificates (since March) was meant to change the demography of IIOJK from a Muslim majority into Hindu majority territory.

In another attempt to obliterate the Muslim identity of occupied Jammu and Kashmir the status of Urdu language was being changed under a new legislation, the foreign minister said.

Indian claims of “normalcy” in IIOJK were fallacious, he said, adding that the joint communication by eighteen Special Mandate Holders of the Human Rights Council issued last month had termed the human rights situation in IIOJK was in a “free fall”.

Hundreds of young Kashmiris were extra judicially killed in “fake encounters” and “cordon and search” operations while the Indian security forces continued to enjoy complete impunity under black laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (APSPA) and the Public Safety Act (PSA).

The Foreign Minister, in his special message, also sensitized the Contact Group about India having intensified its belligerent rhetoric against Pakistan, including threats of military aggression. In 2020 alone, India had so far committed over 2200 ceasefire violations.

There was a tangible threat of further escalation as India might conduct another “false flag” operation to justify renewed aggression against Pakistan, posing a serious threat to regional peace and security, FM Qureshi said.

To this end, the Foreign Minister emphasized that it was imperative for India to:immediately lift its inhumane military siege and rescind illegal actions taken since 05 August; remove restrictions on communications, movement and peaceful assembly; release incarcerated political leaders; free arbitrarily detained Kashmiris; reverse new domicile rules; remove draconian security laws; prosecute military and civilian personnel involved in massive human rights violations; and allow unhindered access to the OIC, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) and UN Fact Finding Missions and the international media to investigate the human rights violations in IIOJK. =DNA

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