FM Qureshi urges OIC to boost its efforts to promote Kashmir settlement as situation deteriorating

FM Qureshi

NEW YORK, Sep 23 (APP):Pakistan Thursday called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to step up its efforts to facilitate a lasting solution to the Kashmir dispute as the situation in the disputed territory has taken a turn for the worse.

“The oppressed people of Kashmir, now more than ever, count on OIC and the Muslim Ummah,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the 57-member organization’s Contact Group meeting presided over by OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen.


“There will be no peace in South Asia until the just and equitable resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he added.


Attending the meeting were Turkish Foreign Minister Turkish Mevlut Cavusoglu, Azerbaijan FM Jeyhun Bayramov, Saudi FM Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Niger’s senior diplomat Aoughui Naiandou.


Shehryar Khan Afridi, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, was also present as an observer, at the Contact Group’s meeting held on the sidelines of the 76th session of UN General Assembly.


In his remarks, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that over 8 million Kashmiris continued to face lockdown, military siege, communications blockade, arbitrary detentions, and unprecedented restrictions since August 5, 2019.


“Operating under draconian laws with complete impunity, Indian occupation forces are committing unspeakable atrocities to silence the voice of the Kashmiris and break their will to resist the occupation,” he said.

“Under a suffocating military siege and in the face of ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian army has continued cordon-and-search operations, put down protests violently, continued the use of pellet-guns and torture, imprisoned Kashmiri political leaders, abducted children and women, staged fake ‘encounters’, and indulged in a killing spree of Kashmiri youth in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)” he added.


Following the extremist “Hindutva” ideology, FM Qureshi said the RSS-BJP regime had also embarked on a design to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory and obliterate the distinct identity of the Kashmiri people.


To further its plans, over 4.2 million fake domicile certificates have already been issued, he said, pointing out that this is what the Indian leadership itself calls a ‘Final Solution’ for the Jammu and Kashmir.


“The most recent example of Indian barbarity was the treatment of mortal remains of the great Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani,” who passed away earlier this month after prolonged illegal Indian detention and house arrest.


Despite his advancing age and failing health, he was not allowed to seek medical treatment abroad, he said, adding that as his family mourned his loss, and prepared for his funeral, a heavy contingent of India’s occupation forces entered their home, and over the protests of family members, forcibly snatched Syed Geelani’s body, denied him the last rites of a Muslim funeral and buried him in a non-descript place rather than the ‘Cemetery of Martyrs’ as desired by him before his death.


“If that was not enough, Geelani’s family members were later charged for draping his body in the Pakistani flag – as he had wished,” the foreign minister said.


“The Government of India was so afraid of Syed Geelani and what he stood for (right of self-determination for Kashmiris) that they resorted to this inhumane act even after his passing away.”


On India’s continuing abuses, the foreign minister said, the Government of Pakistan has recently released a comprehensive and well-researched Dossier containing the entire range of gross, systematic, and widespread violations of human rights perpetrated by Indian forces in the IIOJK.
Last February, he said Pakistan accepted revival of the 2003 ceasefire understanding along the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir, hoping that India would take positive steps to enable the resumption of a dialogue for resolution of the dispute, but instead New Delhi intensified its repression.


Pakistan, FM Qureshi said, was prepared to resume a dialogue with India for a resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, while stressing that the onus was on it to create a conducive environment for such a dialogue.
India, he said, must:

— Reverse its unilateral and illegal measures instituted since 05 August 2019;
— Halt its human rights violations in IIOJK, and,
— Halt and reverse the demographic changes in the occupied State.

The Jammu and Kashmir dispute, with Palestine, is one of the two longest standing items on the UN and OIC agenda, the foreign minister pointed out.


Appreciating the OIC’s continued and unequivocal support, FM Qureshi said the organization has been at the forefront of efforts to support the just and legitimate struggle of the people of IIOJK for their inalienable right to self-determination.


“In view of the grave situation, it is imperative that the OIC enhances its efforts to facilitate a lasting solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The oppressed people of Kashmir, now more than ever, count on OIC and the Muslim Ummah.,” the foreign minister added.