OIC urged to establish humanitarian corridor for besieged Kashmiris

Published August 7, 2021
Indian paramilitary soldiers close a street using barbwire in Srinagar in Indian occupied Kashmir. — AP/File
Indian paramilitary soldiers close a street using barbwire in Srinagar in Indian occupied Kashmir. — AP/File

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has called upon the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to establish a humanitarian corridor to aid people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) who were under a military siege amid relentless Indian state sponsored terrorism.

He made this appeal while talking to a 12-member delegation of the OIC-Independent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) here at the Aiwan-i-Sadr on Friday. The OIC-IPHRC delegation included diplomats and representatives from the United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Nigeria, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Gabon, Tunisia, Turkey and Morocco.

The IPHRC Executive Director Marghoob Saleem Butt and prominent Pakistani diplomat Tasneem Aslam were also present on the occasion.

The AJK President thanked the OIC for its courageous and steadfast support for the right to self determination of the Kashmiri people. He also expressed his deep gratitude to the commission for publishing a comprehensive and seminal report in March 2017 on the human rights situation in IIOJK.

Terming the IPHRC’s previous report as a precursor to the reports on the human rights situation in IOJK published by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Khan said since the last report of the OIC Human Rights Commission the situation in IOJK had undergone significant changes that demanded commission’s immediate attention.

He maintained that in the light of the recommendations made in the IPHRC’s previous report, the Muslim world, particularly the member states of the OIC should raise their voice against the worst ever human rights violations in IOJK and consider sanctions against India.

He also demanded immediate steps by the OIC to provide emergency assistance to the besieged Kashmiris by establishing humanitarian corridors and provide scholarships to Kashmiri students studying either in any part of their state or elsewhere in the world so that they could continue their education.

The president informed the delegation that at present there were around 42,000 refugees from across the divide in AJK, with their majority residing in or on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad.

The AJK government provides assistance to these refugees in collaboration with the Pakistani institutions, he said.

Urging the delegation members to expose India’s false propaganda that its troops were fighting terrorism in occupied Kashmir, Mr Khan pointed out that Dil Bagh Singh, Indian police chief in occupied Kashmir, had himself admitted that there were a total of 200 militants in the occupied territory against whom India had deployed 900,000 troops.

India had deployed such a large army not to fight the militants but to kill the unarmed and defenseless people of the occupied territory, Mr Khan said.

Informing the OIC delegation of the illegal and unilateral steps taken by the Indian government on and after August 2019, he said that after snatching symbolic special status of IOJK, bifurcating and annexing the occupied state with the Indian union, settling non-Kashmiri Hindu citizens in it to convert the Muslim majority into a minority, New Delhi was now actively engaged in gerrymandering to reduce Muslim representation in the state legislature of IOJK.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2021

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