OIC Contact Group slams India for illegal actions in Kashmir

By: News Desk
Published: 09:25 PM, 21 Sep, 2022
OIC Contact Group slams India for illegal actions in Kashmir
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The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir 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 & 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 that the entire Hurriyat leadership, the true representatives of Kashmiri political aspirations, had 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.

Welcoming the role played by the relevant UN Special Rapporteurs, 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, it also denounced India’s continued refusal to allow the OIC Special Envoy, the OIC- Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHIRC), the UN Special Mandate Holders and international civil society organizations to visit IIOJK.

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.

The foreign ministers of the contact group demanded that India should reverse all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after 5 August 2019, stop the gross, systematic and widespread human rights abuses in the IIOJK, halt and reverse the illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory including the construction of settler colonies, land confiscation, home demolitions and disruption of the livelihoods of the people of the IIOJK, allow unrestricted access to UN Special procedures, international media and independent observers to visit occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and take concrete and meaningful steps for the full implementation of UNSC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.

They also reiterated the call for the international community to hold India accountable for the heinous crimes being committed by the Indian forces in the IIOJK.

The group welcomed the three meetings of the UN Security Council to consider the situation in Jammu and Kashmir dated 16 August 2019, 15 January 2020 and 05 August 2020. The meetings of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir on 25 September 2019, 22 June 2020, 23 September 2021 and 22 March 2022 were also hailed, further 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.

The members also recalled 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.

Earlier, the contact group heard the report from the OIC Secretary-General and the IPHRC, the briefing from Foreign Minister of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 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 IIOJK.

The members of the group further reaffirmed the principle of right to self-determination enshrined in the UNSC resolutions that the final disposition of the State of Jammu & Kashmir would 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 group also acknowledged that by its Resolutions 91 (1951), 122 (1957) and 123 (1957), the Security Council reaffirmed that attempt by the parties concerned to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State of Jammu & Kashmir, or any part thereof, would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the principle of a free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices.

The group requested the OIC Secretary General to continue to monitor the implementation of the action plan on Jammu and Kashmir agreed during the last meeting of the OIC Contact Group on 22 March 2022 in Islamabad and present a report on the situation in IIOJK to the next meeting of the OIC contact group.

They also requested the OIC Secretary-General to transmit a copy of this joint communique to the UN Secretary General and President of the UN Security Council.

The OIC Observer Mission in New York and Geneva were also requested to send a copy of this Communiqué to all member states, as well as the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

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