ISLAMABAD: The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir met on the sidelines of 13th OIC Summit and reiterated OIC’s continued support to the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in their just struggle for realization of their right to self-determination in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, led Pakistani delegation to the meeting, which was chaired by the OIC Secretary General’s Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir, Ambassador Abdullah Al-Alim, in Istanbul.

Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Turkey and Senior Representatives of Saudi Arabia and Niger attended the meeting. Turkish Foreign Minister specially attended the Contact Group meeting despite his engagement with the Council of Foreign Ministers as the Chair.

Opening the meeting, Secretary General’s Special Representative reiterated the principled position of OIC of continued support to the Kashmiri people in their legitimate struggle for the right to self-determination and underscored that the Contact Group had been constantly conveying the OIC’s concerns to the international community regarding the flagrant human rights violations and abuse of the basic rights of the Kashmiris.

He regretted some attempts to equate the Kashmiri struggle with terrorism, and emphasized that the Kashmiris were solely striving to achieve their inalienable right in accordance with relevant UN resolutions. He welcomed the establishment of Standing Mechanism of OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) to monitor human rights situation in IOK which would present its report to the next session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. On its part, the Standing Mechanism will mantain close contact with the Kashmir civil society and NGOs working in the field to fulfill its mandated task. The Special Representative would also undertake a visit to Jammu and Kashmir shortly.

Mr. Sartaj Aziz, in his key-note address, reiterated Pakistan’s continued diplomatic, moral and political support to the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in their just struggle for realization of their right to self-determination in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. He highlighted the human rights violations in IOK and appreciated the steadfast support of the OIC and the Contact Group member states to the people of IOK.

The Foreign Ministers and Senior Representatives highlighted the unresolved nature of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and underscored its implications for regional peace and security.

They demanded that the Kashmir dispute must be resolved in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and the aspirations of Kashmiri people.

They recommended that the OIC should keep close contact with relevant international organizations to sensitize the international community on Kashmir dispute and the human rights violations in IOK. They urged dialogue to the resolve the issue, for lasting peace in the region.

Mr. Ghulam Muhammad Safi, participating on behalf of the True Representatives of Kashmiri People, highlighted the ground situation arising from the continued Indian occupation and oppression in IOK and urged for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

He thanked the continued support by the brotherly OIC countries and the member states of the Contact Group for their support to the oppressed people of IOK in their legitimate struggle for realization of their right to self-determination. He, on behalf of Kashmiri people, presented a Memorandum to the Secretary General’s Special Representative. Indian government had imposed travel restrictions on a number of Kashmiri leaders from IOK preventing their participation in the meeting.

The Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir was formed in 1994 to coordinate policy of OIC on Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are its members. The deliberations of the Contact Group reflect the solidarity of the OIC with the Kashmir cause.