PR No. 194
Islamabad: March 22, 2022

Secretary-General OIC H.E. Hissein Brahim Taha, President AJK, Honourable Foreign Ministers, Chairperson OIC-IPHRC Dr. Haji Ali Acikgul, True Kashmiri Representatives, Distinguished Colleagues.
Let me begin by expressing my profound gratitude to all of you for attending this meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir. Today’s interaction would help us take stock of the political and security environment and the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and consider ways and means to address these challenges. Excellencies, The right to self-determination is the fundamental tenet of international law. The right to decide one’s own destiny is the essence of freedom and is critical to human dignity. Unfortunately, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are yet to enjoy this inalienable right. For the last seventy years Kashmiris have been living under a most atrocious occupation ever since the Indian forces illegally landed in Jammu and Kashmir. There is nothing as painful as a brutal occupation, and nothing as moving as the voice and plight of those braving it. Unless addressed, the monumental betrayal of the Kashmiri people in contravention of the cardinal principles of international law, the UN Charter, and key human rights instruments, will continue to haunt the world conscience. Generations of Kashmiris have grown up under the shadow of fear, torture and intimidation. It is a tale of heart-wrenching suppression and trauma caused by indiscriminate and unrestrained use of power. History has witnessed few parallels of such flagrant violations of fundamental rights as in the IIOJK. Gross violations of human rights, shameless brutality, remorseless moral bankruptcy and appalling atrocities characterize the reality of Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir today. A military force of over 900,000 Indian troops has turned the heavenly valley of Kashmir into the world’s largest prison. Indian repression has intensified manifolds since the illegal and unilateral Indian actions of 05 August 2019. The hardships under the brutal military siege were further compounded by layered lockdowns and additional COVID-19 restrictions. Such is the plight of Kashmiri people. It is beyond belief that almost the entire Kashmiri leadership remains incarcerated under inhuman conditions, often dying while in custody. Kashmiri youth is a specific target as they suffer illegal detentions, torture, enforced disappearances, indiscriminate use of pellet guns, and extra-judicial killings in staged cordon-and-search operations. Muslim majority in Kashmir is being turned into a minority in their own land through illegal demographic changes in violation of the international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. So far 4.2 million fake domicile certificates have been issued to people not belonging to Kashmir. This is yet another attempt to rob the people of Kashmir of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The moral bankruptcy of Indian occupation forces was laid bare by the callous and inhuman attitude in handling the mortal remains of Syed Ali Geelani-the iconic Kashmir leader and freedom fighter. Since 5 August 2019, more than 540 Kashmiris have been martyred by Indian occupation forces during fake 'search and cordon' operations. India’s state terrorism against Kashmiris re-validates the increasing global concerns about the situation of human rights which is fast deteriorating in multiple inter-linked ways: First, the scale and spectrum of Indian abuses in IIOJK have exponentially grown with devastating human toll; Second, operating under draconian laws with complete impunity, the Indian occupation forces are committing unspeakable atrocities to break the will of Kashmiris and to resist the occupation; Third, the recent arrests and reprisals against human rights defenders and journalists on fabricated charges in IIOJK is another example of India’s continued persecution and intimidation of civil society; and Fourth, India continues to out-rightly deny access to UN Special Procedures, independent human rights observers and global media, thereby evading independent assessment of the ground situation in IIOJK. Excellencies, In September last year, Pakistan unveiled a dossier that extensively documents irrefutable evidence of India’s state terrorism and gross and systematic human rights violations in the IIOJK. The 131-page dossier covers accounts of 3432 cases of war crimes perpetrated by Indian occupying forces. It is corroborated by meticulously gathered audio and video evidence. These reports and the Dossier provide sufficient evidence for the international community to hold India to account for its reprehensible conduct in the IIOJK which is repugnant to every canon of civility and international humanitarian law. Excellencies, The Jammu and Kashmir dispute is one of the longest standing items on the agenda of the UN and OIC. The global community can no longer ignore when millions of Kashmiri lives are at stake. Pakistan, for its part, remains committed to the early, just and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people. Pakistan is a proponent of regional peace and harmony. However, India cannot erect the edifice of artificial peace on the graves of the Kashmiris. We call on India to immediately; Reverse its unilateral and illegal measures instituted in IIOJK since 05 August 2019; End human rights violations in IIOJK; Withdraw the occupation forces from IIOJK so that people of Kashmir can enjoy their right to live freely; Reverse the demographic changes in the occupied territory; Remove hurdles in the work of and extend full cooperation to UNMOGIP in fulfilling its mandate; Release all political prisoners and stop the persecution of Kashmiri political leadership; Lift curbs on educational institutions in IIOJK and allow Kashmiri youth especially girls to exercise their right to education; and Fulfill its obligation of holding a free and impartial UN supervised plebiscite to let the Kashmiris exercise their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in numerous UNSC resolutions. Excellencies, Pakistan greatly appreciates the OIC’s continued and unequivocal support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. We are profoundly grateful to this Contact Group for playing a leadership role in this regard. This Organization has been at the forefront of the efforts to support the just and legitimate struggle of the people of IIOJK for their inalienable right to self-determination, as reflected by the decisions and resolutions of the Islamic Summits and Council of Foreign Ministers sessions, and the statements issued by the General Secretariat and IPHRC. In view of the deteriorating situation in the IIOJK, it is imperative that the OIC doubles its efforts to facilitate a lasting solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The oppressed people of Kashmir, now more than ever, count on OIC and the Muslim Ummah as saviors. I also request Your Excellencies’ active support in raising the issue at relevant UN fora, including the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. I would conclude my remarks with the words of Martin Luther King. He said and I quote: “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people” We hope the international community would be on the right side of history when such an account is made. I once again thank you for your participation today. Thank you