The members of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir held an informal virtual meeting in New York to commemorate the “Kashmir Solidarity Day”.
The Permanent Representatives of Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Niger and Azerbaijan attended the meeting. The OIC Secretary-General was represented by the Permanent Representative of the OIC Observer Mission to the UN, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev.
The keynote address was delivered by the Foreign Minister, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Highlighting the plight of the Kashmiri people, the Foreign Minister underscored that the inhumane and oppressive Indian military siege of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) of over 550 days had exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic had brought the situation to a tipping point. The Indian occupation forces were committing grave human rights violations against the Kashmiri people including killings, arbitrary detentions and abductions with impunity.
The Foreign Minister added that the BJP-RSS government was also engaged in orchestrating a so-called ‘Final Solution’ for the IIOJ&K. This entails a brutal campaign to physically, politically and psychologically crush the Kashmiris’ demand for self-determination. With over 900,000 Indian troops, Jammu and Kashmir was already the most militarized part of the world. Attempts to change the demographic composition of Jammu and Kashmir to transform this Muslim majority State into a Hindu dominated territory constituted the second part of this ‘Final Solution’ – the introduction of new residency, ownership and domicile laws in IIOJ&K were meant to facilitate a full-scale settler colonial project.
The Foreign Minister stated that the third element of this Indian ploy was to put pressure on Pakistan through the threat of aggression, most notably ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC). The Foreign Minister stated that in the wake of India’s failed attack against Pakistan in February 2019, while Pakistan launched an effective response in exercise of its right to self-defense – resulting in downing of two Indian jets and capturing of an Air Force Pilot. Yet, it was Pakistan’s restraint which deescalated the situation. The Foreign Minister stressed that the BJP-RSS government may instigate another “false flag” operation to retain their authoritarian grip on power and to deflect attention from mounting domestic problems.
All the constants in Kashmir's equation i.e geography, history & law are on Pakistan's side. The variables like politics and economics are also bound to change in Pakistan's favour ", Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh said while addressing an event to observe Kashmir Solidarity Day pic.twitter.com/kFfqMo5wiq
— Permanent Mission of Pakistan to OIC (@PakOIC_Jeddah) February 5, 2021
Reaffirming Pakistan’s abiding support to the valiant people of Jammu and Kashmir, the Foreign Minister said Pakistan will continue to extend all moral, political and diplomatic support to their legitimate struggle for self- determination as enshrined in Security Council resolutions. The Foreign Minister thanked the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir for effectively articulating the voice of the Islamic ummah in solidarity and support with the Kashmiri people. He commended the New York Chapter of the Contact Group for its role in drawing attention to the issue at the United Nations.
Reaffirming the OIC’s principled position on the issue, members of the Contact Group expressed deep concern at the continued violations by India of the fundamental human rights in IIOJ&K. Recalling its Ministerial Communiqués of 25 September 2019 and 22 June 2020 and the recently adopted Niamey Declaration of 28 November 2020 by OIC-CFM, the Contact group reiterated the OIC’s unwavering support to the just cause of the Kashmiri people.
The Contact Group called on the UN Secretary-General, the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council to urge India to halt the human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, rescind the unilateral and illegal measures taken on and after 5 August 2019, and to implement the Security Council resolutions calling for a plebiscite to enable the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination.