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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office has said that inclusion of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in Niamey Declaration of the 47th session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) is yet another manifestation of the OIC's consistent support to the Kashmir cause.

Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, in a statement on Sunday said that the declaration explicitly reiterated the OIC's principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute for a peaceful settlement in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

In its Declaration, issued at the conclusion of the 47th session of OIC's CFM, the forum stated: "We reiterate the OIC's principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute for a peaceful settlement in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions."

While being deeply concerned over the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), which has so far affected almost all countries and regions of the world and has had devastating global impacts and posed unprecedented challenges, it stated we commend the OIC Member States for their proactive and timely actions to prevent the spread of the pandemic and their initiatives in the health, economic, financial, social and humanitarian fields to respond to the challenges and address the effects of the crisis. We also express our deep gratitude and support to all frontline health workers and others striving to render essential services to the people and to save lives in this critical time.

"We commend the ongoing efforts of the OIC and its competent institutions to help our countries build their capacities and upgrade their infrastructure to fight Covid-19 pandemic and address its adverse effects; and we commend in this regard, in our collective response to the pandemic, the launch by the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) of a US$ 2.3 billion Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme for the COVID-19 Pandemic, aimed at supporting our countries' efforts to contain, mitigate and recover from the impact of COVID-19," it stated. "We call on developed countries and international financial institutions to extend to developing countries the assistance necessary in this fight against Covid-19," it added.

It further stated: "We emphasize the need to ensure the security of Member States and solve current and emerging problems and conflicts peacefully, using international legal, political and diplomatic mechanisms based on universally-recognized principles and norms of international law and the charters of the United Nations and the O1C. To that end, we support the effective efforts exerted by the sessions of the Summit, the CFM and the Executive Committee, the Secretary General and the special envoys in the resolution of conflicts." Meanwhile, positively responding to Pakistan's offer, the 47th Session of the CFM of OIC in Niger has decided to host the 48th CFM Session in Islamabad in 2021.

As the prospective CFM Chair, Pakistan has also become a member of the 6-member OIC Executive Committee for the next three years. Pakistan is a founding member of the OIC. It has always played an important role in promoting the role of OIC as a collective voice of Muslim Ummah.

The OIC is the second largest intergovernmental Organization after the United Nations, with 57 members and 5 observer states spanning over four continents. According to a statement released by the Foreign Office on Sunday, the CFM also adopted a resolution tabled by Pakistan. In a comprehensive and strongly worded Resolution, the OIC:

  • Rejected the illegal and unilateral actions by India on August 5, 2019, to change the internationally recognized disputed status of the Indian Illegally Ooccupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), and demanded that India rescind its illegal steps;

  • Demanded India to cancel the issuance of domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris and revoke all unilateral and illegal actions in IIOJK since 5 August 2019, while refraining from taking any step to alter the existing demographic structure of the disputed territory;

  • Condemned in the strongest possible terms human rights violations perpetrated by Indian occupation forces in IIOJK and other such instances of Indian terrorism that have been the source of unspeakable suffering for the innocent Kashmiri people;

  • Deplored the state-sponsored terrorism and crimes against humanity by Indian occupation forces against people of IIOJK;

  • Condemned extra-judicial killings during fake 'encounters' and 'search-and-cordon' operations and demolition of homes and private properties as a form of collective punishment;

  • Denounced the renewed use of pellet guns by Indian occupation forces against innocent civilians;

  • Condemned the harassment of Kashmiri women by Indian occupation forces;

  • Deplored that India has callously exploited the current COVID-19 crisis to intensify its military crackdown and further advance its unlawful occupation in IIOJK;

  • Welcomed the visit of OIC Secretary General's Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) from 2-6 March 2020;

  • Reaffirmed the sentiments expressed in the unanimously adopted Communiqués of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu &Kashmir in its Ministerial meetings held on 25 September 2019 and 22 June 2020;

  • Urged India to adhere to its international human rights obligations and allow the OIC Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir and the OIC Fact-finding Mission to visit IIOJK;

  • Strongly urged India to implement recommendations of the two Reports of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Jammu & Kashmir;

  • Urged international community to review their engagements with India, the occupying power, as it is violating and disregarding the international law, the international humanitarian law, and international resolutions;

  • Emphasized that the question of Kashmir is of utmost importance for the Muslim Ummah;

  • Recognized that Jammu and Kashmir is the core dispute between Pakistan and India, and its resolution indispensable for realization of the dream of peace in South Asia;

  • Acknowledged that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are the principal party to the dispute, and should be included in any peace process for resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute;

  • Affirmed that any political process/elections held under foreign occupation cannot be a substitute to the exercise of the right of self-determination;

  • Underscored that Jammu & Kashmir is an unresolved question of granting the right to self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir that has been on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council for over seven decades now;

  • Reaffirmed that the fundamental right enshrined in the UNSC resolutions that the final disposition of the State of Jammu & Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people, expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, conducted under the auspices of the United Nations;

  • Decided to further consider the Jammu and Kashmir dispute at the 48th Session of the CFM in Islamabad.- The 57-member OIC has been a consistent and vocal supporter of the Kashmir cause, and adoption of this Resolution was a reaffirmation of the principled stance always taken by the OIC on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020