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Settlement of Kashmir issue not far away, says OIC aide

JEDDAH: The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) believes that the people of Jammu and Kashmir, after so many years of suffering, deserve full respect for their legitimate right to self-determination.

“Surely, it’s (settlement) not far away,” Abdullah Alam, assistant secretary general and special representative of the OIC secretary-general on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute, told a “Kashmir Black Day” event organized by Pakistan International School-English section at Pakistan Consul General Abdul Salik Khan’s residence on Wednesday night.

“As we all acknowledge the great importance of a peaceful solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, we commend the commitment of Pakistan to the peace process and hope that India will show the same attitude in order to give the peace process a significant and positive push forward,” Alam said.

He added that the OIC is examining all existing possibilities and authorities to help people gain their rights. “The permanent inclusion of the Jammu and Kashmir issue on the agenda of OIC’s summits and ministerial sessions is a clear indication of the Islamic organization’s strong support and continuous solidarity with its people.

“We are now trying to explore, through the OIC offices in New York and Geneva, the Human Rights Council, international human rights groups and humanitarian organizations to prevent further violations of the human rights of the Kashmiri people and work toward helping them realize their right to self-determination,” Alam said.

Other speakers, including Muhammad Umar Badahdah of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, the consul general and members of the Kashmir Committee, explained the significance of commemorating the Kashmir Black Day every year on Oct. 27 and said in recent months there had been an alarming increase in violation of human rights and indiscriminate use of force against Kashmiris in Indian Kashmir, which has resulted in the killing and injury of dozens of people. “It was on Oct. 27, 1947, two months after the end of British occupation of South Asia, that Indian forces entered Jammu and Kashmir and they have since been violating all established principles of law, justice, morality and politics,” the consul general said.

“The occupying power must realize that bullets and batons are not an answer to the demand of fundamental rights. Kashmiris can never accept their subjugation. It’s time to start a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan for the resolution of this longstanding dispute,” the consul general added.

“On its part, Pakistan is fully committed to a just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and, most importantly, the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.”

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