OIC voices concern at Kashmir HR abuses
15 June 2004
Istanbul: The OIC Contact Group on Kashmir has expressed deep concern over the human rights situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and called for an immediate end to the continuing massive violation of human rights of Kashmiri people. In a joint statement issued here on Tuesday, the group reiterated the determination of member states of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to continue their efforts for full protection of the fundamental human rights of people of Jammu and Kashmir. The group, comprising foreign minister of Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Niger, OIC secretary-general and Kashmiri representatives, noted reports of gross and consistent human rights violations in the occupied valley. Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Saudi Foreign Minister Dr Nezar bin Obaid Madani, Niger Foreign Minister Mamane Oumarou, OIC Secretary-General Abdelouahed Belkeziz and Kashmiri representatives attended the meeting. The meeting expressed satisfaction over the recent developments indicating de-escalation of tension in South Asia and hoped that the efforts by Pakistan and India to start dialogues for normalization of relations would help in overcoming the differences on the Kashmir dispute and pave the way for its resolution. The group conveyed its support for the government of Pakistan's initiative of unilateral ceasefire along the Line of Control which has been observed by both the sides. It appreciated the institution of confidence-building measures (CBMs) such as resumption of air and rail links, sports activities and visa facilities to boost people-to-people contacts and interaction. Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri said that Pakistan was ready to reverse the cause of confrontation in South Asia and hoped that the region could finally see the dawn of a lasting peace.