In connection with the ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’, observed on 5th February every year, the Foreign Secretary, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, briefed the Islamabad-based Ambassadors of OIC countries today on the status of the issue and the plight of the Kashmiri Muslims in Indian Occupied Kashmir. The Foreign Secretary mentioned that the Kashmir Solidarity Day is commemorated by the Government and People of Pakistan, at home and abroad, to express solidarity with and to reiterate Pakistan’s political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris in the struggle for their right to self-determination.
The Foreign Secretary paid tribute to the huge sacrifices made by Kashmiri Muslims in Indian Occupied Kashmir in their struggle in the face of Indian atrocities. He highlighted the brutalities committed by the Indian security forces in the Occupied Kashmir to suppress the indigenous Kashmiri movement against Indian rule and quoted the staggering figures of Kashmiris killed, women widowed and dishonored, and children orphaned in gross human rights violations in IOK. Stating that no elections in IOK could be a substitute to the Plebiscite under the auspices of the UN, he expressed deep concern over the policies of the present Hindu nationalist BJP Government aimed at changing the demographic makeup of Jammu and Kashmir by settling non-State subjects in IOK and turning Muslim majority there into a minority and dividing the population on ethnic, religious and communal lines. He stressed that the peace in the region would remain elusive without the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Resolutions that call for a free and fair plebiscite to determine the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Briefing on the recent visit of the OIC Secretary General to Pakistan, the Foreign Secretary deeply appreciated the consistent support of the OIC, and the Secretary General to the Kashmir cause. Highlighting the efforts of OIC, he noted with satisfaction that the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, consisting of Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, meets regularly and adopts resolutions affirming OIC’s continued support to the Kashmiris. He noted with appreciation the Secretary General’s emphasis on early peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute. The Ambassadors were told that Kashmiris had welcomed the recent mandate given to OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) to monitor human rights violations in IOK. The Foreign Secretary emphasized that OIC, as a body of 57 countries with the world’s 1/5th population and many trillion dollars GDP, could influence India to fulfill its obligations under UN resolutions, de-militarize IOK and refrain from blatant human rights violations.
The OIC Ambassadors while noting the points made by the Foreign Secretary, participated in the discussion focusing on the Kashmir issue, Pakistan-India relations and other developments in the region.