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ISLAMABAD, Nov 30 (APP): The Government and people of Pakistan expressed sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its member states for reaffirming strong and unequivocal support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute during the 47th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in Niamey, Niger recently.

The CFM, attended by foreign ministers and representatives of OIC member states, adopted a comprehensive and strongly-worded resolution on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. Some of the other resolutions adopted by the CFM also included strong references to the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.

“We extend our deep gratitude to Niger (as the new CFM Chair), Saudi Arabia (as Chair of 14th Islamic Summit), and Turkey (speaking on behalf of the Asian Group) for highlighting the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in their respective statements during the Opening Plenary Session of the CFM.

“Pakistan is grateful for the explicit reiteration in the ‘Niamey Declaration’ of the OIC’s principled position on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute for a ‘peaceful settlement in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions’,” Foreign Office spokesperson said in a press release.

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Pakistan also welcomed adoption of other resolutions by the CFM, including Resolution on Destruction of the Babri Masjid in India and Protection of Islamic Holy Places; Resolution on Safeguarding the Rights of Muslim Communities and Minorites in non-OIC states; and Resolution on Maintenance and Promotion of Regional Peace and Security in South Asia.

It welcomed the report of OIC Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir on his visit to Pakistan and the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), which was submitted to the CFM.

“The OIC has always steadfastly supported the Kashmir cause as reflected in decisions and resolutions of the Islamic Summit and CFMs as well as statements by the OIC and its human rights body, Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC),” the press release further said.

Pakistan also expressed gratitude to the OIC for the unanimous adoption of the Resolution on Islamophobia that, inter alia, designates March 15 as “International Day on Combating Islamophobia”, in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s consistent endeavours to highlight concern in the Muslim Ummah regarding desecration of the Holy Quran and re-printing of the caricatures of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

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The Foreign Office further extended warm felicitations and best wishes to Ambassador Hussein Ibrahim Taha, from the Republic of Chad, on his election as the new OIC Secretary General.

“The Government of Pakistan would extend all possible support to him in promoting the OIC as the collective voice of the Muslim Ummah.

We also commend the incumbent Secretary General, Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, for his effective stewardship of the Organization and his efforts to promote Muslim causes, including the Jammu and Kashmir cause,” the spokesperson further said.

The FO said Pakistan looked forward to hosting the 48thCFM Session in 2021. “As the prospective CFM Chair, Pakistan stands ready to constructively engage with the entire OIC membership to promote unity, peace and prosperity among the Muslim Ummah.”