United Nations: At a meeting of ministerial group of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) dealing with Kashmir, the OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen has called for a resumption of the dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue.
According to the OIC, at the meeting on Wednesday of the four ministers constituting the OIC’s Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, Al-Othaimeen “emphasised that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is among the most important agenda items for the Organization”.
“He further insisted on the need for the resumption of the dialogue process between Pakistan and India, which is a prerequisite for development, peace and stability in South Asia,” according to OIC press release on its site.
The communique that IANS has seen said that they “denounced attempts to equate the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for liberation from foreign occupation and their right of self-determination, with terrorism”.
Al-Othaimeen presided over the meeting in which foreign ministers Shah Mehmood Qureshi of Pakistan, Adel Al-Jubeir of Saudi Arabia, Elmar Mammadyarov of Azerbaijan and Kalla Ankourao of Niger participated.
The meeting was briefed by Qureshi.
The group reaffirmed its support for what it called “the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination and freedom from Indian occupation”.
The communique, however, specifically mentioned adherence to bilateral agreements when it said it welcomed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s August 8 statement “affirming that the position of the United Nations on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir region is governed by the UN Charter, applicable UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.”
The ministers “expressed deep concern over the worsening human rights and humanitarian situation”.
The communique asked India for “solemn assurances” that it will not change Kashmir’s “demographic composition and not allow non-Kashmiris to acquire property or residency in Jammu and Kashmir”.
They “deplored the extended, months long, lockdown of the Kashmiri people, round-the-clock curfew and complete communications blackout” and asked India to repeal what it called “draconian emergency laws” and withdraw its heavy military presence from Kashmir.