OIC reaffirms its ‘unwavering’ support to Kashmiri people, India reacts says Kashmir an internal matter

Abu Dhabi: – The OIC Ministerial meeting that concluded on Saturday in Abu Dhabi reaffirmed its unwavering support for the Kashmiri people in their just cause.

In a resolution adopted by the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), the OIC member states reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir remains the core dispute between Pakistan and India and its resolution is indispensable for the dream for peace in South Asia.

The OIC resolution also condemned in the strongest terms recent wave of violence in Kashmir and expressed deep concern over the ‘atrocities and human rights violations’.

The resolution also reminded the international community of its obligation to ensure implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

In the context of current volatile situation in the region, the OIC member states adopted a new resolution sponsored by Pakistan, which expressed grave concern over the Indian violation of Pakistani airspace; affirmed Pakistan’s right to self-defence; and urged India to refrain from the threat or use of force.

This OIC resolution on regional peace and security in South Asia also welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s renewed offer of dialogue to India and the goodwill gesture of handing over the Indian pilot. The resolution called for restraint and de-escalation as well as the need to resolve outstanding issues through peaceful means.

In another significant development, the OIC elected Pakistan as a member of its Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission from the Asian region, in acknowledgement of Pakistan’s constructive contribution to human rights discourse, norms and policies.

The OIC adopted two other resolutions sponsored by Pakistan on international disarmament and non-proliferation issues and reform of the UN Security Council.

Pakistan boycotted the plenary session of the 46th CFM at the Foreign Minister level.

However, India reacted sharply over the resolution saying Kashmir is an internal matter.

Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the issue is strictly internal to the country, New Delhi asserted Saturday, in reaction to a resolution on the matter by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in its two-day foreign ministers’ conclave in Abu Dhabi.

“As regards the resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, our stand is consistent and well known. We reaffirm that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India,” Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar said.

Earlier, the Pakistan Foreign Office said that the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of OIC concluded with a resolution that “supported” Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.

“In a resolution, the OIC member states reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir remains the core dispute between Pakistan and India and its resolution is indispensable for the dream for peace in South Asia,” it claimed.

The resolution also “expressed deep concern” over the alleged human rights violations in Kashmir, the Pakistan Foreign Office claimed, adding that the resolution also reminded the international community of its obligation to ensure implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on the Kashmir dispute.

The OIC is a grouping of 57 countries, majority of which are Muslim-dominated. It has usually been supportive of Pakistan and, often sided with Islamabad on the Kashmir issue.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the inaugural plenary of the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of OIC on Friday. She was the first Indian minister to address the OIC meeting.

India’s participation came despite strong demand by Pakistan to rescind the invitation to Swaraj to address the grouping which was turned down by the host UAE, resulting in Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi boycotting the plenary.

Swaraj attended the meeting in Abu Dhabi on March 1 as the guest of honour at the invitation extended by the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates. “We deeply appreciate this historic gesture on the 50th anniversary of their first meeting,” the MEA spokesperson said.

The OIC also called for “restraint and de-escalation” in South Asia as well as the need to resolve outstanding issues through peaceful means, the Pakistan Foreign Office said. (PTI)