MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan addresses a press conference with OIC secretary general’s special envoy Yousef M. Al Dobeay at Awan-i-Sadr on Wednesday.—Online
MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan addresses a press conference with OIC secretary general’s special envoy Yousef M. Al Dobeay at Awan-i-Sadr on Wednesday.—Online

MUZAFFARABAD: The Orga­nisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) supports peacefully negotiated settlement of the longstanding issue of Kashmir in accordance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, said Yousef M. Al Dobeay, OIC secretary general’s special envoy on Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

He made this statement at a brief media talk as well as during his meeting with AJK President Sardar Masood Khan at the AJK President’s House here.

Dobeay arrived in Muzaffarabad at the head of a high level delegation “Along with the Palestine issue, Kashmir issue also tops the OIC agenda… Both issues are important for Muslim Ummah,” he said.

“The issue of Kashmir is the oldest issue in the Security Council and is on top of our agenda points for the past four decades,” he added.

He said the formation of OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir in 1994 was manifestation of the importance the forum attached to this issue.

Yousef says Kashmir along with Palestinian issue tops the OIC agenda

He said the OIC had passed several resolutions on Kashmir issue, calling for implementation of the UNSC resolutions envisaging the settlement of this dispute in accordance with the will of Kashmiris.

After India’s Aug 5 move, the OIC had stepped up its efforts in this regard, he said.

“In our ministerial meetings we have always condemned human rights violations by India. We have also supported UN high commissioner for human rights reports of 2018 and 2019 on human rights,” he said. He said peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue through dialogue was essential for peace in the whole South Asian region.

“Our efforts to this effect will continue… We also pray for an early solution of this issue.”

Earlier, welcoming the delegation, the AJK president appreciated the proactive and constructive role of the OIC in highlighting Kashmir dispute.

The OIC was the only multi-lateral organisation that had designated a special envoy on Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Khan said and added that the forum had also issued, over the years, concrete and strong-worded statements on the repression unleashed by India in the occupied territory.

He particularly thanked the OIC for its bold communiqué in the backdrop of India’s August 5 move during the OIC Contact Group meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

In response, Mr Dobeay said: “The issue of Kashmir is very close to our hearts and all 57-member OIC countries are on the same page regarding its resolution.”

He maintained that the resolution of the dispute was possible only through peaceful means.

“The OIC appreciates the restraint shown by Pakistan in these trying times and believes that political and peaceful dialogue is the only solution for resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue,” Mr Dobeay said.

Earlier, the OIC delegation visited the Line of Control (LoC) in Chakothi sector. The delegation was briefed on the situation along the LoC against the backdrop of ceasefire violations by Indian army, targeting innocent civilian population in the area.

The delegation thanked Pakistan Army for the update and for providing the opportunity to see the situation along the LoC for itself.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2020

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