OIC rejects Indian move to change demography of IoJ&K, terms it violation of UNSC resolutions

OIC-IPHRC squarely rejects the Indian Government’s illegal actions to alter the demographic status of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJ&K) as violative of OIC and UN Security Council Resolutions and international human rights/humanitarian laws.

Jeddah 19 May 2020 (PR): The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly condemns and categorically rejects the Indian Government’s recently introduced ‘Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 2020’ which spells out new domicile rules causing ‘demographic flooding’ of non-natives in the IoJ&K. While the world is striving to fight a global pandemic of Covid-19, India has mischievously used the opportunity to illegally alter the demographic composition of the Muslim majority in IoJ&K. However, as in the past, the people of Kashmir have squarely denounced this law as yet another illegal move and expressed their resolve to stand firm against the tyranny of Indian occupation.

Earlier concerns, expressed by the Commission, are proving to be real as series of actions undertaken by the Indian Government are designed at systematically paving the way for ‘settlement colonialism’ through forced demographic change, institutionalizing a system of domination over indigenous Muslim population by converting them into a minority within their homeland and obviating the exercise of their right to self-determination. This is a manifest violation of the human rights of the Kashmiri people guaranteed under well codified international human rights treaties including Articles 27 and 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which clearly declare any illicit transfer of population in conflict zones or disputed territory as illegal. It will not only change the demographics of the occupied area and resultant disenfranchisement but will further complicate the dispute which has already claimed thousands of innocent lives of Kashmiri Muslims, the Commission added.

The Commission is appalled to note that, since 5th August 2019, the Indian Government, despite widespread international condemnation from the UN, OIC and other human rights bodies, continues to pursue systematic persecution of Kashmiri Muslims through vicious political, economic and communication blockade in the IoJ&K. However, despite deployment of over half a million security personnel, the Indian Government has failed to quell the Kashmiris’ legitimate struggle for the right to self-determination. The impugned laws of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act continue to provide blanket protection to the Indian security forces to trample human rights of innocent Kashmiris with impunity. The denial to Kashmiris of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms including the right to life, right to self-determination, right to freedom of expression, freedom of religion, right to peaceful protest and assembly, are contrary to international human rights law and is also violative of India’s international human rights obligations.

The Commission urges the UN and the international community to play their due role to pressurize India to: a) abide by the relevant UN Security Council and OIC resolutions to refrain from any administrative and legislative actions, which tantamount to altering the geographic and demographic status of the IoJ&K; b) restore all fundamental freedoms of Kashmiris; repeal its discriminatory laws; and c) allow people of Kashmir to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination through a free and fair plebiscite as provided in the relevant UN and OIC resolutions.