The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday reaffirmed its support for the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination and freedom from the Indian occupation.
The Contact Group also rejected the illegal and unilateral actions taken by India on August 5, 2019 and subsequent steps to change the internationally recognized disputed status of the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and to alter the demographic structure of the occupied territory, said a joint communiqué issued after a meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir. The group reaffirmed its support to the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the recognized OIC position and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
The foreign ministers of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir met on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly. The Secretary-General of the OIC chaired the meeting. “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,” the communiqué said.
It denounced India’s illegal and unilateral actions and subsequent steps which were in direct violation of UNSC resolutions and were aimed at changing the demographic structure of IIOJK, preventing the realization of the inalienable right to self- determination of the Kashmiris as well as violating their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and to perpetuate India’s illegal occupation of the occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
It recalled the statement issued by the UN Secretary General of 8 August 2019 which affirmed that the position of ‘the United Nations on Jammu and Kashmir region is governed by the UN Charter and applicable UN Security Council Resolutions,’ it said. Rejecting the issuance of fake domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris granting them the voting rights, and amendments in land-ownership laws, and any other step to alter the existing demographic structure of the disputed territory, the Group said these were in contravention of the existing UNSC resolutions and in violation of the international humanitarian law including the 4th Geneva Convention.
The communiqué further deplored that the Indian forces continued to perpetrate a vicious campaign of repressive actions, including extrajudicial killings of innocent Kashmiris in fake encounters; custodial killings and “cordon-and-search” operations; the use of pellet guns to kill, maim and blind peaceful protestors; the abduction and enforced disappearance of 15,000 young Kashmiri boys; the incarceration of almost the entire Kashmiri leadership; and “collective punishments” with the destruction and burning of entire villages and urban neighbourhoods.
The Contact Group members also condemned the fact that the entire Hurriyat leadership, the true representatives of Kashmiri political aspirations, has been under continued detention for three years with most having been subjected to brutal and inhumane treatment at the hands of Indian occupation forces. It denounced the sham trial and conviction of Yasin Malik on concocted charges which is the most recent example of India’s attempts to punish Kashmiri leaders seeking freedom even by peaceful means.
Rich tribute was also paid to the unflinching commitment of the Hurriyat leadership, including the late Syed Ali Geelani to the Kashmir cause in the face of persistent persecution and tremendous personal hardships. The group appreciated 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. The foreign ministers also welcomed the report of the OIC Secretary-General on the implementation of the action plan agreed by the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir in its last meeting of 22 March 2022.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday said there would be no peace in South Asia until the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is peacefully resolved on the basis of justice and international legitimacy. “The dispute has remained unresolved primarily due to India’s refusal to implement the resolutions of the Security Council, which stipulated that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall 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,” the foreign minister said while addressing a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.