OIC Contact Group calls for impartial plebiscite in Kashmir
September 26, 2018
ISLAMABAD: The meeting of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Kashmir was held on Wednesday on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York which focused on the continuous Indian acts of aggression against innocent Kashmiri civilians and gross human rights violations by Indian forces.
The Contact Group called for an impartial plebiscite in the disputed territory in accordance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi led Pakistan’s delegation to the meeting, chaired by OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef Al Othaimeen. Foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Turkey, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the UN and the director general from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Niger also attended the meeting and delivered statements. Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan attended as a representative of the Kashmiri people.
In his opening remarks, OIC secretary general condemned the consistent killing of innocent Kashmiri civilians by the Indian occupation forces and the recent spike of escalating atrocities at the hands of Indian forces. He reiterated OIC’s principled position on supporting the people of Kashmir in achieving their legitimate rights, including their right to self-determination. He emphasised that the conflict should be resolved in accordance with the aspiration of the Kashmiri people, as enshrined in the UNSC resolutions. He also took note of Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights’ report and endorsed the recommendation to constitute Commission of Inquiry for investigating human rights abuses Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). He also called for genuine dialogue between Pakistan and India on all issues, including the Kashmir dispute. He also thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for his commitment to peace.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in his statement, extended vote of thanks to the secretary general and other foreign ministers of the Contact Group for their continued support to Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute. He briefed the delegates on Indian acts of continued aggression, the recent escalation of atrocities against innocent Kashmiri civilians and gross violations of human rights in IOK, including gruesome incidents of rape, murder, torture and inhuman use of pellet guns against the civilians.
He reiterated Pakistan’s principled position to find a peaceful and just resolution of the Kashmir dispute. He also reaffirmed Pakistan’s pledge to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris in their relentless struggle to reclaim their inalienable right to self-determination, as enshrined in the numerous UNSC resolutions. Qureshi also referred to the report on Kashmir released by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in June that had shaken the “delusion of India”. The evidence-based report on the grave human rights situation in IOK recommends the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate into the allegations of human rights violations in the occupied territory. In their statements, the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Niger and the ambassador of Saudi Arabia expressed their support for peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute and called upon India to observe UN standards enshrined in the human rights instruments and international law.
Sardar Masood Khan effectively raised the issue of grave human rights violations being perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces in IOK, with impunity. He called upon the international community, especially the Muslim Ummah to urge India to immediately halt these grave violations of human rights and to permit the holding of the free and fair plebiscite as enshrined in UNSC resolutions. He thanked the OIC member states especially members of the Contact Group on Kashmir for their continued support in highlighting the grave injustices being perpetrated against the innocent people of IOK.
At the conclusion of the meeting, he presented a memorandum to the secretary general of OIC on behalf of the people of Kashmir.