In unanimously adopted resolution, Muslim bloc urges Delhi to adhere to international human rights obligations
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday unanimously adopted a resolution reaffirming its strong support for the Kashmir cause, with the Muslim bloc’s 57 countries urging India to avoid taking any steps that sought to alter the disputed region’s demographic structure.
The resolution, adopted by the 47th Session of the OIC in Niamey, Niger, categorically rejected the “illegal and unilateral actions” of India following its unilateral revocation of Kashmir’s special constitutional status on Aug. 5, 2019.
The strongly worded resolution demanded India rescind its “illegal steps” of Aug. 5, 2019, and demanded it halt the issuance of domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris and refrain from taking any steps to alter the existing demographic structure of the disputed territory. Condemning human rights violations perpetrated by Indian occupation forces in India-held Kashmir, it also deplored state-sponsored terrorism and extrajudicial killings and other forms of “collective punishment.”
The resolution also denounced the ongoing use of pellet guns against civilians by Indian security forces and condemned the harassment of Kashmiri women. It said that Delhi had “exploited” the COVID-19 pandemic to intensify its military crackdown of the region.
The unanimously adopted resolution welcomed the March visit of OIC secretary general’s special envoy for Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and urged India to adhere to its international human rights obligations and allow similar fact-finding missions to visit India-held Kashmir.
The Muslim bloc also strongly urged India to implement recommendations U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights on Jammu and Kashmir and urged the global community to review their engagements with India in light of its ongoing violations of international humanitarian law.
Emphasizing that Kashmir was of utmost importance for the entire Muslim Ummah, the resolution recognized that Jammu and Kashmir remains a core dispute between Pakistan and India, whose resolution was essential to secure lasting peace in South Asia. It said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were the principal party to the dispute, and should have the right to self-determination until relevant UNSC resolutions. It said any political process held under occupation could not be considered a valid substitute to the exercise of the right of self-determination.
The OIC decided to further consider the Jammu and Kashmir dispute at the 48th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, which is set to take place in Islamabad next year.
The OIC also unanimously adopted a Pakistan-sponsored resolution regarding Islamophobia, which had expressed concern about a rise in the “contemporary form of racism and religious discrimination.” Noting that reports of desecration of the holy Quran and reprinting of blasphemous caricatures had hurt the sentiments of more than 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, it decided to adopt March 15 as an annual “International Day to Combat Islamophobia.”
The resolution authorized the OIC Permanent Missions in New York to jointly table a Resolution in the U.N. General Assembly calling for establishment of this day at a global level. The resolution also urges OIC member states to organize and support various events to effectively increase awareness about curbing Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. It calls on the U.N. secretary general to initiate a global dialogue to counter Islamophobia and promote interfaith harmony.
In an address at the OIC, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that in adopting the resolution against Islamophobia, the OIC had reflected the sentiments of billions of Muslims who respected other religions and expected similar respect for Islam and its Prophet.