India must reverse all illegal measures, says OIC group

Published September 22, 2022
The OIC Contact Group on  Jammu and Kashmir meets on the sidelines of the UNGA. — Photo courtesy: MoFA Twitter
The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir meets on the sidelines of the UNGA. — Photo courtesy: MoFA Twitter

NEW YORK: The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir at the United Nations demanded on Wednesday that India must reverse all illegal and unilateral measures it took on or after Aug 5, 2019.

OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha chaired the meeting. On August 5, 2019, India forcibly annexed illegally occupied territories of Jammu and Kashmir, rescinding a special status granted by the Indian constitution.

The group met in New York on Wednesday on the sidelines of the session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and issued a joint communique, condemning the Indian occupation.

The statement included a set of demands, urging India to: “Stop the gross, systematic, and widespread human rights abuses in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, halt and reverse the illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory including the construction of settler colonies, land confiscation, home demolitions and disruption of the livelihoods of the people of the IIOJK.

“Allow unrestricted access to UN Special procedures, international media and independent observers to visit occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and take concrete and meaningful steps for full implementation of UNSC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.”

The group reiterated the call on the international community to hold India accountable for the heinous crimes being committed by the Indian forces in the IIOJK.

It also urged the OIC secretary general to continue to monitor the implementation of the action plan on Jammu and Kashmir agreed during the last meeting of the OIC Contact Group on March 22, 2022, in Islamabad and present a report on the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir to the next meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

The group asked the secretary general to transmit a copy of this joint communique to the UN secretary general and President of the UN Security Council.

It requested the OIC Observer Mission in New York and Geneva to send a copy of this communiqué to all member states, as well as the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

The meeting heard a report on the situation in the occupied Kashmir from the OIC secretary general while Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, other member states of the Contact Group and representatives of the Kashmiri people briefed the participants on recent developments.

The meeting reaffirmed the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the recognised OIC position and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

It also reaffirmed the principle of right to self-determination enshrined in the UNSC resolutions that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people, expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, conducted under UN auspices.

The group acknowledged that by its Resolutions 91 (1951), 122 (1957) and 123 (1957), the Security Council reaffirmed that attempt by the parties concerned to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir, or any part thereof, would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the principle of a free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices.

The group recalled the statement issued by the UN secretary general on Aug 8, 2019, affirming that the position of the United Nations on Jammu and Kashmir region is governed by the UN Charter and applicable UN Security Council Resolutions.

Welcoming the three meetings of the UN Security Council to consider the situation in Jammu and Kashmir dated Aug 16, 2019; January 15, 2020, and August 05, 2020, the group unequivocally rejected the unilateral Indian actions of August 05, 2019, as inconsistent with international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022

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