ISLAMABAD: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has slammed India over human rights violations in Kashmir and urged the international community to expose the brutalities of the occupying forces.
“The situation in the valley is not an internal issue of India, and greater effort should be made for exposing human rights violations there,” said Iyad Amin Madani, the OIC secretary general, while speaking at a joint news conference with Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz on Saturday.
“The international community needs to be more vocal on the deteriorating human rights situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir. The resolution of Kashmir dispute lies in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and the UN Security Council resolutions,” he added.
The OIC chief’s statements come a day after the United Nations secretary general slammed the killings in Kashmir, where at least 66 people have died in clashes between protesters and police since July 8, sparked by the murder of a poplar Kashmiri separatist leader. More than 2,000 people have been arrested for participating in protests. In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Ban Ki-moon offered to facilitate dialogue between Indian and Pakistan over Kashmir dispute to achieve a negotiated settlement.
The OIC chief also seconded Ban’s proposal for a dialogue, terming ‘inevitable’ resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan for the resolution of Kashmir dispute. “I hope dialogue will resume, sooner or later,” said Madani, who heads the world’s largest bloc of Muslim countries comprising 57 states. He landed in Islamabad on Friday on a three-day visit. “The situation is getting worse rather than better and this cannot continue,” he said. “We should not be afraid of referendum.”
Madani also appreciated Pakistan’s willingness to address the lingering Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions. He added those involved in human rights violations in Kashmir should be identified and given strict punishments.
The foreign affairs adviser welcomed the OIC chief’s remarks, saying the two had spoken at length on the Kashmir issue. Sartaj accused the Indian forces of using lethal force against Kashmiris protesting peacefully over extrajudicial killings, saying 80 people had lost their lives while another 6,000 injured by the use of pellet guns by the Indian forces.
He stressed that Pakistan and India should resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue. “We want dialogue with India, but we are waiting on India’s response, after which the situation will become clearer,” he said, adding a peaceful solution “is imperative for regional peace and stability”. The OIC’s Contact Group on Kashmir would meet in September during the General Assembly session in New York.
The adviser also expressed Pakistan’s desire of lasting peace in Afghanistan. “The OIC has an important role in supporting peace efforts in Afghanistan,” he said.
The OIC chief said consultations were underway for holding an Ulema Conference on Afghanistan. “We want to see peace and prosperity in Afghanistan,” he added.
Earlier, Sartaj and Madani held wide-ranging talks on matters of mutual interest. “We both stressed the need of intensifying cooperation among the OIC countries and constructive exchange of ideas to address the increasing trends of Islamophobia and defamation of religions,” Sartaj told the media. “We also agreed to use the OIC platform to build a narrative against extremism and terrorism.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2016.
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