OIC strongly condemns 'terrorist act' by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir

Published December 17, 2018
At least 14 civilians were killed as Indian troops fired on protesters on Saturday. — AFP/File
At least 14 civilians were killed as Indian troops fired on protesters on Saturday. — AFP/File

Hours after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called on the international community to “intervene” and stop the ongoing bloodshed in occupied Kashmir, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued a statement strongly condemning the "killing of innocent Kashmiris by Indian forces".

"The OIC General Secretariat expressed strong condemnation of the killing of innocent Kashmiris by Indian forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir where direct shooting at demonstrators in ​​Pulwama region claimed the lives of a number of innocent citizens," read a statement by the organisation on Monday.

"The secretariat condemned this terrorist act and called upon the international community to play its role in order to reach a just and lasting solution to the conflict in Kashmir, in accordance with the relevant international resolutions adopted by the OIC and the UN Security Council, and fulfill the aspirations of the Kashmiri people."

It added the condolences of the general secretariat to the families of the victims.

Army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) via Twitter condemned the "state-sponsored terrorism by Indian Occupation Forces, including unethical targeting of civilian population across LoC [Line of Control]".

"Bullets can never suppress unarmed brave freedom fighters. Indian army must respect ethics of professional soldiering," said ISPR on Monday.

While addressing a press conference a day earlier, Foreign Minister Qureshi shared that he had written a letter to the OIC secretary general along with letters to the United Nations secretary general and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Condemning the killing of 14 Kashmiris by Indian forces in Pulwama on Saturday, the foreign minister said he had asked the officials to intervene with haste "so that people could get relief from this brutality".

The foreign minister also added that he had asked the OIC to immediately convene an inter-ministerial meeting of its' Contact Group on Kashmir, saying Pakistan was ready to host the event.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday also sharply condemned the killings of innocent civilians at the hands of Indian security forces.

"We will raise [the] issue of India's human rights violations in IOK & demand UNSC [UN Security Council] fulfill its J&K plebiscite commitment," the premier said in a tweet.

Security lockdown

Meanwhile, soldiers and police fanned out across occupied Kashmir on Monday to enforce a security lockdown for a second straight day to stop anti-India protests and foil a call by Kashmiri leaders for a march toward India’s main military garrison in the disputed region.

On Saturday, Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had announced that Kashmiri people, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) group, “will march towards Badami Bagh Army cantonment on Monday [today]” to ask the Indian forces to “kill all of us at one time rather than killing us daily”.

Indian forces patrolled streets in Srinagar and sealed off all the roads leading to India’s military garrison in the city.

Police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear and carrying automatic rifles laid steel barricades and coiled razor wire on roads and intersections to cut off neighborhoods in a bid to stop protests.

Authorities also stopped train services and suspended internet on cellphones in the region, a common tactic to make organising protests more difficult and stop dissemination of protest videos by Kashmiris.

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