Islamic Bloc head meets Indian envoy, discusses situation in J&K

By Hamza Ameer
Islamabad, July 8 (IANS)
The head of the Islamic bloc — Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — met the Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and discussed a number of issues concerning the situation of Muslims in India, along with the Jammu and Kashmir dispute with Pakistan.
The OIC Secretary General, Yousef Al-Othaimeen, also told the Indian Ambassador, Ausaf Sayeed, about the possibility of a meeting between Pakistan and India, “stating that the General Secretariat stands ready to assist if the two parties would so request”.
Al-Othaimeen met Ausaf Sayeed on July 5 at his office in Jeddah. Sayeed had paid a courtesy visit to him.
During the meeting, the Secretary General discussed “relevant UN and OIC resolutions opposing any unilateral actions on the issue”.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Office has reacted to the meeting stating that OIC’s Secretary General underscored its clear and principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute to the Indian envoy.
In a statement issued in response to media queries about the meeting, Pakistan Foreign office stated that the OIC CFM rejected “India’s unilateral actions since August 5, 2019”.
“The meeting between the OIC Secretary General and the Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia on July 5 at the OIC’s General Secretariat in Jeddah took place in the context of the mandate afforded by Resolution 10/47-Pol of the 47th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. The Secretary General underscored the OIC’s principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute during the meeting,” read a statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office.
“The OIC CFM in Niamey in November 2020 categorically rejected India’s unilateral actions since August 5, 2019. It also demanded that India rescind its illegal actions and respect the inalienable rights of the Kashmiri people to self-determination, as promised by numerous UNSC resolutions,” the statement added.
Highlighting the resolutions of the OIC, the statement maintained that “the OIC resolutions, inter alia, call on the Secretary General to dispatch a fact-finding mission to IIOJK to ascertain the situation on ground and report its findings to the next CFM. The CFM resolutions also call on the Secretary General to take up the matter with the Indian authorities”.
Pakistan maintains that India has ignored various OIC resolutions and “evaded its responsibility of protecting the fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people”.
However, it was the first time that the “principled position of the 57 OIC member states has been duly conveyed to India”.
“India should review its policies in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and fully implement UNSC and OIC Resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” the Pakistan Foreign Office statement read.
“The Jammu and Kashmir dispute has been among the longest standing issues on the OIC’s agenda. Indian illegal and unilateral actions in IIOJK and the continued violation of human rights of the Kashmiri people have been a top priority of the OIC. Pakistan appreciates OIC’s consistent and longstanding support for the Kashmir cause and legitimate rights of the people of IIOJK,” the statement concluded.

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