OIC reaffirms support to people of Held Kashmir
08 February, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The 12th OIC Summit has in its joint communique, besides addressing issues of interest and concern to the Muslim Ummah, reaffirmed its principled support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the realisation of their legitimate right to self-determination.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar led the Pakistani delegation to the summit, which was held between February 6 and 7. The communique also called upon India to allow the OIC fact-finding mission, the international human rights groups and humanitarian organisations to visit Jammu and Kashmir. It urged India to undertake independent investigation into the discovery of mass graves in the territory under its control and ensure free and fair trial of those responsible for heinous crimes.
In addition, the communique expressed deep concern on the recent ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and welcomed Pakistan's proposal to hold investigation through the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan (UMMOGIP). The report affirmed the group's support to the people of Afghanistan, and appreciated Pakistan's efforts in hosting a large number of Afghan refugees.
The summit expressed satisfaction on the progress made in establishing new OIC organs, including the Independent Permanent Commission of Human Rights (IPCHR) and the OIC Women Development Organisation (WDO). Pakistan is already a signatory to the Statute of WDO. On the sidelines of the summit, the foreign minister held a number of bilateral meetings, including with the foreign ministers of Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and the UAE. She exchanged views on regional and international developments and on the issues of interest to the Muslim Ummah.
The summit brought together leaders of the Islamic countries to discuss political, economic and socio-cultural issues of significance to the Muslim world, including the Palestine issue, situation in Syria and Mali, and Islamophobia. As a founder member of the OIC Pakistan participated actively in the summit, preparatory ministerial and senior officials' meetings. Pakistan was elected as vice chair of the summit.
In her statement to the gathering, the foreign minister underscored the need to address daunting challenges faced by the Muslim world through unity, solidarity, and a spirit of Islamic brotherhood. She briefed the participating leaders on the deepening of democratic process in Pakistan that has led to strengthening of democratic institutions, flow of resources to provinces and local governments, and enactment of legislation on protecting fundamental freedoms, women, children and minorities' rights.
Khar stressed the need to find a just and peaceful solution of the Kashmir dispute. She affirmed that Pakistan remained committed to the composite dialogue process with India to resolve all outstanding issues. The OIC secretary general as well as foreign ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Malaysia also extended their support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their statements. Reiterating Pakistan's support to the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process, the foreign minister said that Pakistan was extending all possible assistance to intra-Afghan reconciliation process.
Condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations she stated that terrorism could not be defeated by law enforcement and military operations only and there was a need to adopt a compressive approach. Foreign Minister Khar expressed concern on the continuing trend of Islamophobia and emphasised the need for developing a unified strategy for preventing religious hatred and defamation of religions on the pretext of freedom of expression.
Underscoring the need to increase intra-OIC trade and economic cooperation, the foreign minister presented various proposals for the advancement of science and technology under the patronage of the OIC Standing Committee on Science and Technology (COMSTECH). The president of Pakistan is the chairman of COMSTECH, which is exploring the possibility of convening an OIC summit on science and technology.
The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir also met on the sidelines of the Summit. The meeting was co-chaired by the foreign minister and OIC secretary general, and was attended by high officials from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Niger, who reiterated their continued support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.