ISLAMABAD: Special Envoy of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for Jammu and Kashmir, Ambassador Yousef Aldobeay, will arrive here on Sunday (today) for a six-day visit to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.
A delegation comprising OIC’s Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ambassador Tarig Bakhit, and other senior officials will accompany the special envoy.
During the visit, Mr Aldobeay will hold discussions on peace and security in occupied Kashmir and the human rights and humanitarian situation. “His visit will reinforce the centrality of a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to lasting peace in South Asia,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Saturday.
The special envoy will interact with a cross-section of people from the Kashmiri society, including their true representatives. The delegation will visit a model village housing Kashmiris forced to flee their homes by the Indian forces in occupied Kashmir and meet victims of India’s cross-Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire violations.
Yousef Aldobeay will interact with a cross-section of people from Kashmiri society
These engagements will provide the special envoy a first-hand account of the gravity of the situation on the ground in occupied Kashmir and along the LoC.
The presence of the assistant secretary general is particularly significant to follow up on the OIC’s call at the 47th session of the Council of Ministers in Niamey, Niger in November last year, to examine and analyse the egregious violations of international human rights and humanitarian standards in occupied Kashmir with particular reference to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Established by the 14th OIC Summit in Makkah in 2019, the OIC’s Special Envoy on Jammu and Kashmir has played an important leadership role in steering the Organisation’s principled position on this issue.
Special Envoy Aldobeay earlier visited Pakistan and AJK in March last year. He presented his first report to the 47th CFM, in Niamey. The report, inter alia, reaffirmed the OIC’s support to the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for their inalienable right to self-determination and recommended intensifying coordination between OIC member states to support the Kashmir dispute at international forums.
As part of its broad-based and comprehensive engagement on the Kashmir dispute, the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir at the level of foreign ministers also met on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, on Sept 23, 2021. The joint communiqué adopted on the occasion affirmed the OIC’s unequivocal support to the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self-determination as enshrined in UN Security Council resolutions and firmly repudiated India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019 and all subsequent steps. A delegation from the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission also visited Pakistan and AJK in August this year.
Pakistan greatly values the OIC’s principled and steadfast stance on the Kashmir dispute. As a collective voice of over 1.2 billion Muslims across the world, the OIC has led the way on this critical issue for the Ummah.
Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2021