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ISLAMABAD: The 48th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, while reiterating the OIC’s position and resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, further reaffirmed the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the recognised OIC position and the Security Council resolutions.

The Joint Communique, the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, which was issued on Wednesday, the foreign ministers of the participating member states urged India to reverse all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after 5 August 2019.

Text of the Joint Communique on the Action Plan is as bellow: “The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, having met on the sidelines of the 48th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Minister in Islamabad on 22 March 2022, under the Chairmanship of the OIC Secretary General, Having heard the report from the Secretary General of the OIC and the IPHRC, the briefing from the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, the views of the Foreign Ministers of other member states of the Contact Group and the true representatives of the Kashmiri People on the recent developments in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

The Foreign Ministers: Reaffirming the OIC’s position and resolutions on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute; Further reaffirming the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the recognized OIC position and the Security Council resolutions; Underscoring that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute that has been and continues to be on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) since 1948 and reaffirmed by the relevant UNSC resolutions granting the Kashmiri people their inalienable right to self-determination;

All set to host 2-day meeting of OIC-CFMs from tomorrow

Underlining that relevant UN Security Council resolutions declare that the final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people, expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations; Stressing that lasting peace in South Asia cannot be achieved without a just settlement of the core Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UNSC resolutions;

Denouncing the unilateral and illegal Indian actions of 5 August 2019 and subsequent steps to alter the demographic structure of the IIOJK including through the issuance of over 4.2 million domiciles to non-Kashmiri Indian citizens and redrawing of electoral constituencies in the occupied region;

Reaffirming that Indian actions are inconsistent with international law, applicable UN Security Council resolutions and India’s own solemn commitments to implement UNSC resolutions; Paying tribute to the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris for their right to self-determination, and reiterating full solidarity of the OIC with the Kashmiri people; Condemning the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces in IIoJK since 1989, resulting in the extra-judicial killing of nearly hundred thousand Kashmiris, widowing and rape of thousands of Kashmiri women and girls, and further deploring tens of thousands of children having been orphaned, massive destruction of schools and houses, and discovery of thousands of unidentified mass graves;

Recalling UN General Assembly resolutions, in particular, resolution 2649 (1970) which “recognizes the right of peoples under colonial and alien domination in the legitimate exercise of their right to self-determination,” and in this regard denouncing Indian attempts to equate the legitimate exercise by the Kashmiri people of the right to self-determination with terrorism;

Welcoming the meetings of the UN Security Council on 16 August 2019, 15 January 2020 and 5 August 2020 to discuss the grave situation in IIoJK; Noting with appreciation the statement of the UN Secretary General of 8 August 2019 clearly affirming that the UN position on Jammu and Kashmir was “governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions”;

Welcoming the meetings of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir on 25 September 2019, 22 June 2020 and23 September 2021 noting in particular, that the Joint Communiqués adopted by the Contact Group unequivocally rejected the unilateral Indian actions of 5 August 2019 as inconsistent with international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions; Recalling the two reports issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in June 2018 and July 2019, comprehensively documenting the gross and systematic violations of human rights in IIoJK;

Recalling the concerns raised by the UN Special Procedure Mandate Holders on the grave human rights in IIoJK especially in the wake of the illegal Indian actions of 5 August 2019; Recalling also the visit of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) from 5-9 August 2021and welcoming the report thereof;

Recalling the visits of the Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir in March 2020and November 2021 and welcoming the reports thereon;

Welcoming the visit of the OIC Assistant Secretary General on Humanitarian Affairs to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir from 7-12 November 2021 to undertake a first-hand assessment of the human rights and humanitarian situation in IIoJK;

Denouncing India’s continued refusal to allow the OIC Special Envoy, the OIC-Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), the UN Special Mandate Holders and international civil society organizations to visit IIoJK; Welcoming the role played by world leaders, parliamentarians, human rights organizations and international media, in raising their voice against illegal Indian occupation and atrocities in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir;

Expressing deep concern that the Covid-19 pandemic has further aggravated the grave humanitarian situation in the IIOJK and noting with deep concern that the suffering of the Kashmiri people has been exacerbated by lack of access to hospitals, medicines including lifesaving drugs and food supplies;

Deploring the deliberate Indian policy to deny and deprive the Kashmiris of essential medical supplies by shifting them to Indian states, and to exploit the pandemic to further perpetuate its oppressive reign in IIOJK; Paying rich tribute to the unflinching commitment of late Syed Ali Geelani to the Kashmir cause in the face of persistent persecution and tremendous personal hardships;

Denouncing once again the gross human rights violations committed against Kashmiri leadership and human rights defenders in IIOJK, who are consistently being traumatized, tortured, subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment; Condemning the use of pellet guns and live fire-arms by the Indian security forces, the use of the so-called ‘cordon-and-search operations’, imprisonment of Kashmiri political leaders, staged ‘fake encounters’, the spike in extra-judicial killings, a deliberate killing spree of Kashmiri youth as a punitive tool to punish entire communities, the refusal to return the mortal remains of the martyred to the families and the heightened assault on Kashmiri media and civil society;

Appreciating the role of UNMOGIP in observing the ceasefire on the Line of Control and expressing concern at India’s refusal to cooperate with it in the fulfillment of its mandate; Having regard to the internationally recognized disputed nature of the territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the need for due diligence and compliance with international legality in pursuit of external economic cooperation therein,

Having reviewed the grave and deteriorating situation in Jammu and Kashmir;

The Foreign Ministers: Reaffirmed their support for the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination and freedom from Indian occupation;

Declared that the final settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and a UN supervised plebiscite, is indispensable for durable peace and stability in South Asia;

Reiterated their demand that India must:

• reverse all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after 5 August2019,

• halt and reverse the illegal demographic changes as well as redrawing of electoral constituencies in the occupied territory,

• stop the gross, systematic and widespread human rights abuses in IIOJK,

• drop charges and immediately release Kashmiri political leaders, journalists, human rights defenders and youth held in arbitrary detention,

• halt immediately the extra-judicial killings and the growing assault on media and human rights defenders,

• discontinue forthwith the inhuman practice of not returning the mortal remains of the Kashmiris to the respective families,

• lift curbs on educational institutions in IIOJK and allow Kashmiri youth especially girls to exercise their right to education,

• end persecution, release all political prisoners and remove all travel restrictions imposed upon the Kashmiri leadership, journalists and civil society,

• remove hurdles in the work of the UNMOGIP and extend full cooperation to UNMOGIP in fulfilling its mandate,

• allow unrestricted access to OIC Special Envoy, OIC-IPHRC Fact Finding Mission, UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders, international media and independent observers to visit IIOJK, and

• conduct an independent investigation against well-documented cases of human rights violations including extra-judicial killings, sexual violence by the Indian occupation forces in the IIOJK,

• repeal all restrictive and discriminatory laws like Armed Forces Special Forces Act, Public Safety Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other such laws aimed at perpetuating illegal occupation and suppression of the basic rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people,

• take concrete and meaningful steps for the full implementation of UNSC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, and reiterated the call on the international community to hold India accountable for the heinous crimes being committed by the Indian occupation forces in the IIOJK;

Requested the OIC Secretary General to a) transmit a copy of this Joint Communique to the UN Secretary General and President of the UN Security Council and b) to present a report on the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir to the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers to be held on the sidelines of the 77thSession of UN General Assembly in September 2022;

Consistent with the provisions of the Joint Communique of the Contact Group meeting held in New York in September 2021, agree to pursue the annexed Action Plan; and decided to remain actively seized of the matter.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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