October 2003 News

Kashmir figures at OIC meeting

11 October 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

PUTRAJAYA (MALAYSIA): Kashmir figured at a meeting of Organisation of Islamic Conference officials ahead of a next week's summit when its secretary general bracketed it with Afghanistan even as Pakistan plans to press for a resolution on the issue. Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri are expected to attend the summit early next week. In his opening speech to the preparatory meeting of the 57-member body's 10th summit, its secretary general Abdelouahed Belkeziz enumerated the 'challenges' facing the Islamic religion worldwide, namely terrorism, globalization, human rights and the campaigns against Islam and Muslims and said these required OIC's attention. 'Others include the situation in Afghanistan, Jammu and Kashmir, situation of Muslims in Azerbaijan, Philippines and Somalia as well as the economic situation in the Islamic world in many others,' he added. Meanwhile, Pakistan will press OIC members to renew resolutions on Kashmir calling on India to resume dialogue on the disputed territory. 'We will raise the Kashmir issue in the meeting here,' Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Masood Khan told PTI. Pakistan will seek to reiterate the demand that the 'right of self determination' of people of Jammu and Kashmir should be realised and that 'repression and human rights violations' in Jammu and Kashmir should come to an end. And India should be persuaded to resume dialogue with Pakistan, Khan said. The discussion of the Kashmir issue is already on the agenda, said Khan, adding that the OIC contact group on Kashmir will discuss the matter. 'We have not introduced any conditionality,' he said reacting to India's stand that cross border terrorism should be stopped before resuming a dialogue on Kashmir. Equating Palestine with Kashmir Tariq Osman Hyder of the Pakistan delegation said two major areas 'under occupation' are Palestine and Kashmir. 'These are two large important areas under foreign and illegal occupation,' he said adding that Kashmir just like Palestine is always on the agenda of OIC. (PTI)


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