Kashmir not internal problem of India: OIC

Islamabad: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world’s largest bloc of Muslim countries, on Saturday said that Kashmir is “not an internal problem of India but an international issue”, according to a top Pakistani official.

OIC Secretary General Iyad Amin Madani, who is on an official visit to Pakistan, discussed “human rights violations” in Jammu and Kashmir with the country’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

“SG OIC reaffirmed strong support to the Kashmiris in securing their right to self determination,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mohammed Nafees Zakaria said in a tweet.

Madani said it was the OIC international community’s responsibility to raise their voice against “atrocities” on Kashmiris and their “call for referendum as per the United Nations Security Council resolutions to enable Kashmiris’ right to self determination”.

According to Zakaria, the OIC secretary general said Kashmir was “not an internal problem of India but an international issue”.

Aziz expressed his concern over the “rising incidents of extrajudicial killings” in Kashmir, Geo News reported.

He was addressing a press conference accompanied by Madani.

The OIC secretary general in his address said that the world can no longer stay silent on the atrocities in Kashmir. “We hope that a referendum is held in Kashmir. We should not be scared of the referendum. It is their decision, whether they want to stay here (with India) or there (with Pakistan)”, according to Geo.

Aziz also welcomed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s statement offering his good offices to initiate a dialogue between Pakistan and India.

“The UN Secretary General has stressed the need for talks between Pakistan and India and hoped India will respond on the matter in a positive manner,” he said.

Kashmir has been gripped with violence since July 9, a day after security forces killed top militant, Burhan Wani, in a gunfight. At least 67 people have been killed and over 4,000 injured in clashes with security forces since then.

The Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry has invited his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar for talks in Islamabad later this month on the “Kashmir dispute”, but the Indian side has said the talks should focus on aspects related to cross-border terrorism and rejected Pakistan’s “self-serving allegations” on Jammu and Kashmir.

India has also said the Foreign Secretary talks would focus on the “earliest possible vacation of Pakistan’s illegal occupation of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”.

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