OIC Contact Group On Kashmir Meets In Uganda

18 June 2008
Associated Press of Pakistan

Islamabad: Secretary General OIC Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu Wednesday reaffirmed OICís commitment to the Kashmiri struggle and stressed the need to achieve a just and peaceful resolution of the long standing issue. He was addressing the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir met on the sidelines of the 35th CFM held in Kampala, Uganda. The meeting was co-chaired by OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The meeting was attended by Ali Babacan, the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Dr. Nizar Obeid Madani, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Sam Kutesa, Foreign Minister of Uganda and Ms. Aichatou Mindaoudou, Foreign Minister of Niger. The delegation of the True Representatives of Kashmiri people was led by Agha Syed Hassan Al Moosvi Al-Safvi, representative of Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) and comprised of Kashmiri representatives from both Azad Kashmir and Indian occupied Kashmir. The Foreign Minister of Turkey, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia and Foreign Minister of Niger also expressed their support for Kashmirisí right to self-determination. In his address to the Contact Group, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan informed the meeting about the latest efforts of the Government of Pakistan for a meaningful, constructive and result-oriented dialogue with India for the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He emphasized that a final settlement of the Kashmir dispute must be acceptable to all parties - Pakistan, India and the Kashmiri people. He called for expeditious implementation of the recommendations of the report of the OIC Secretary Generalís Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir. Agha Syed Hassan Al Moosvi Al-Safvi, representative of the Chairman APHC apprised the Meeting of the latest human rights situation in Indian occupied Kashmir and called for regular monitoring of the human rights situation in IoK by the OIC and immediate inquiry into the issue of mass graves discovered in IoK. Kashmiri people presented a Memorandum to the Contact Group which contained proposals for both the OIC member states as well as the OIC Secretary General in order to peacefully resolve the Kashmir dispute. Earlier, the Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi opened the 35th Session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Kampala and handed over the Chairmanship to His Excellency Sam Kutesa, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Uganda. In his opening speech at the Council, the Foreign Minister characterized the exercise pertaining to revision of the OIC Charter accomplished under Pakistanís Chairmanship, as a landmark event. He said the new Charter will help OIC transform itself into an organization that truly reflects aspirations and potential of the Ummah - comprising over one sixth of humanity in the 21st century. Highlighting other important accomplishments in the year of Pakistanís Chairmanship, the Foreign Minister cited OICís continued and unstinted support to the Palestinian people. He characterized the Palestinian issue as the main source of discontent in the Muslim world. Shah Mahmood Qureshi thanked the OIC for consistent support to the right to self determination of the Kashmiri people and Pakistanís effort for a settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN and OIC resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. The Foreign Minister further briefed the Council on Pakistanís effort, during the year of Chairmanship, to effectively address important challenges faced by the Ummah. He particularly mentioned the mandate for the Organisation to work on a legally binding international instrument on discrimination or instigation of hatred against any religion. He underscored the importance of a unified stance within the Ummah, and a sustained and constructive engagement with the West to address Islamophobia and defamation of Islam. The three-day Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, inaugurated today by His Excellency Yuweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, will address wide ranging political, economic and cultural matters on the OIC Agenda, and is expected to adopt Resolutions on important issues including Palestine and Kashmir.