The General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Saturday reaffirmed the internationally recognised status of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, contradicting the Indian government’s claim that the matter was a bilateral issue between it and Pakistan, a press release issued by the Islamic bloc said.
According to the statement, the OIC General Secretariat has been “following with concern” the developments in occupied Kashmir that have occurred since India’s unilateral decision to revoke Article 370 of its constitution, which granted special autonomy to occupied Kashmir, on August 5.
“The General Secretariat reaffirms the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on the internationally recognised status of Jammu and Kashmir dispute and its final disposition through a UN-supervised plebiscite,” it said.
The OIC reiterated its solidarity the people of occupied Kashmir, recalling decisions taken at the OIC Summit and resolutions adopted by the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting.
It called for the “immediate lifting of the curfew, restoration of communication and the respect for the fundamental rights of Kashmiris”.
Recognising the need for seeking a durable solution to the Kashmir issue according to UN Security Council resolutions, the OIC General Secretariat stressed the need for the resumption of dialogue process between Pakistan and India, which it termed as a “prerequisite for development, peace and stability in South Asia”.
On August 5, the Hindu nationalist government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped Kashmiris of the special autonomy they had for seven decades through a rushed presidential order. An indefinite curfew was imposed in occupied Kashmir and elected leaders were put under house arrest. The clampdown is now on its 27th day.
The OIC statement on Kashmir comes amidst criticism in Pakistan over the Muslim countries and OIC’s lukewarm response to India’s move to annex occupied Kashmir. Former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Friday even suggested that it was high time for Pakistan to pull out of the OIC.
Taking part in a discussion on Kashmir in the upper house, he said the “bubble of an Islamic Ummah has burst” and Pakistan should reappraise its relationship with the Muslim world.
Maldives Summit heated with Kashmir issue
Meanwhile, Pakistan to made an attempt to raise the Kashmir issue during the South Asian Speakers’ Summit in the Maldives, saying Islamabad should end all State support to terrorism which is the “biggest threat” to humanity.
The two sides had a heated exchange during summit held in the Maldivian Parliament where the representatives of the South Asian countries had gathered.
Pakistan’s Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Suri tried to raise the Kashmir issue during the discussion on Sustainable Development Goals.
Indian representative, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh, however, in a strong response, hit out at Pakistan for raising India’s internal issue and politicisation of the forum.
“We strongly object to the raising of internal matter of India in this forum. We also reject to the politicisation of this forum by raising the issues which are extraneous to the theme of this summit,” Harivansh said.
“There is a need for Pakistan to end cross border terrorism and all kinds of state support to the same in the interest of regional peace and stability. Terrorism is the biggest threat to the entire humanity today.
“Therefore, unanimously we should not allow in this august gathering any kind of circulated statement to become a part of the proceedings,” he said.
Pakistan Senator Quratulain Marri objected to Harivansh’s remarks and said that SDGs for women and youth cannot be achieved without human rights.
Raising a point of order again, the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman retorted: “Since they have raised human rights issue of Kashmir, I would like to state facts that Pakistan has occupied our part of Kashmir known as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
“Pakistan has kept people of this region guessing on their status. As a Constitutional entity, the so-called ‘AJK’ is unique. It has been given the trappings of a country with a President, a Prime Minister and a Legislature of its own. But the so-called AJK is neither a country nor a province,” he said.
The Karachi Agreement (April 28, 1949) truncated POJK and brought more than 85 per cent of the land, strategically important for its connectivity with China and control of rivers, under Pakistan’s direct control, Harivansh said.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
Pakistan has been trying to raise the issue at various international fora, but India has maintained that it is an internal matter. (PTI)