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Report of OIC’s envoy yet to be shared with Pakistan


August 10, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The report of first ever special envoy of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for Jammu and Kashmir Ambassador Yousef M Aldobeay’s visit of the region has yet to be shared with Pakistan who came to the region five months ago and had studied various aspects of the situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) in the wake of annexation of the area with Indian Union Territory.

India refused to accord permission to the special envoy to visit IOJ&K. He was welcomed in Pakistan after his appointment in May 2019 in 14th OIC summit held in Makkah as he stayed here for five days during which he visited the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Kashmir.

Ambassador Yousef M Aldobeay comes from Saudi Arabia and his country is also member of the Contact Group of the organisation on Kashmir along-with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Niger and Pakistan.

The special envoy participated in the Contact Group’s virtual conference held in June but he didn’t submit his report in that sitting of the group as well. Well-placed sources told The News here on Sunday that the contact group had its one meeting ever since the IOJ&K status has been altered by India unilaterally more than one year ago and interestingly the meeting took place after great efforts of Pakistan in June this year. The Foreign Office was approached Sunday evening, but it didn’t provide any details about the report. The Contact Group on Kashmir was headed by Turkey and Saudi Arabia used to play active role in its proceedings.

Another off-putting development pertaining to Kashmir issue was that none of the OIC member countries took up the Kashmir issue with India despite it called upon the member states to raise the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in their bilateral engagements with India with a view to safeguarding the fundamental human rights of the Kashmiri people in the occupied territory, and ensuring expeditious implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions. Islamabad also didn’t actively persuade the member states in this regard, the sources said. It would be pertinent to recall that Ambassador Yousef M Al Dobeay upon conclusion of his visit to Pakistan assured all-out support to bring an end to the sufferings of the Kashmiri people. The special envoy and his high-level delegation had meetings with the prime minister, foreign minister, minister for Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, parliamentary committee on Kashmir, and foreign secretary. A delegation of representatives of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) also met with the delegation and apprised it of the aggravating situation in IOJ&K. The special envoy was apprised of the dire human rights and humanitarian situation in the IOJ&K and the threat to peace and security owing to India’s belligerent rhetoric and aggressive actions. According to the Foreign Office, it was emphasised that the Kashmiris looked towards the OIC and Muslim Ummah for active support for the realisation of their fundamental rights and for peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

At the refugee camp in Muzaffarabad, the delegation interacted with refugees from IOK to get first-hand understanding of the sufferings of Kashmiris under India’s illegal occupation. The special envoy emphasised that Kashmir and Palestine remained the topmost items on the OIC agenda. Reaffirming the OIC’s principled position, he had stated that Jammu and Kashmir was an internationally recognised dispute which called for its peaceful settlement in accordance with the relevant UN and OIC resolutions.

The Contact Group held its meeting in June this year was addressed by OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef A Al-Othaimeen who inaugurated the meeting and stressed the OIC's commitment to finding a peaceful settlement for the Jammu and Kashmir issue as per the relevant resolutions of the Islamic Summit, the Council of Foreign Ministers, and the international legitimacy.

"At the same time, I call on the international community to strengthen its efforts to assist the people of Kashmir to decisively practice their legitimate rights denied for decades," said Al-Othaimeen.

The Contact Group reaffirmed the continued support for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and called on the United Nations secretary-general to use his good offices to make India abide by the United Nations Security Council's (UNSC) resolutions and engage in dialogue to calm the situation in the region. The Contact Group called on India to halt security operations against the people of Jammu and Kashmir immediately, respect basic human rights, refrain from changing the demographic structure of the disputed territory and settle the conflict under the relevant UNSC's resolutions. In the communiqué, unanimously adopted, by the Contact Group it reaffirmed its support for the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination and freedom from Indian occupation. It emphasised that the question of Kashmir was of utmost importance for the Muslim Ummah.

The Group rejected the newly notified “Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Order 2020” and “Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate Rules 2020” aimed at changing the demographic structure of IOJ&K; and expressed concern over India’s intensified ceasefire violations on the LoC. The group demanded from India to rescind its unilateral and illegal actions and allow the Kashmiri people to freely exercise their right to self-determination through an UN-supervised plebiscite. It asked India to halt its human rights violations; stop indiscriminate use of force; lift the unabated military siege and inhuman lockdown; repeal its draconian emergency laws; allow exercise of fundamental freedoms; and release all illegal detainees. The group impressed upon India to stop any moves towards changing the demographic structure of IOJ&K, as they are illegal and in violation of international law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention. New Delhi was asked to provide unhindered access to the OIC, IPHRC and UN Fact Finding Missions, OIC secretary general’s special envoy for Jammu and Kashmir, and international media to investigate into human rights violations in IOJ&K; and agree to the call made in the OHCHR’s report to establish a commission of inquiry to conduct comprehensive independent international investigations on human rights violations. The group requested the office of UN OHCHR to continue to monitor and report on the situation of human rights in IOJ&K. It requested the Humanitarian Department of OIC to examine and analyse the egregious violations of human rights and humanitarian standards in IOJ&K – with particular reference to the COVID-19 pandemic – with a view to evolving ways and means to address its gravity and adverse impact on the lives and livelihoods of Kashmiris. It requested the OIC secretary general to highlight the worsening situation in IOJ&K at various international fora including the UN and call for immediate steps for amelioration of humanitarian situation and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.