Gilani hails OIC support for Kashmiris
16 September 2008
The News International
: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday said that Pakistan was committed to political, moral and diplomatic support for the people of Kashmir in their struggle for their right to self-determination and expressed the confidence that the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) would continue to lend its valuable support for the Kashmir cause. He was talking to Special Representative of OIC Secretary General on Kashmir Ambassador Ezzat Kamel Mufti, who called on him here at the Prime Minister's House Tuesday. The Prime Minister termed Ambassador Ezzat Kamel Mufti's visit to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir is crucial because of its timing to have the first hand information on the recent entirely indigenous uprising in the Indian held Kashmir. He said Special Representative Report would be very helpful for the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, which is to meet in New York later this month during the 63rd session of UN General Assembly. He said that the personal presence of the OIC Secretary General on 24th September 2008 at the Contact Group meeting in New York, as ever will be a great source of strength and inspiration for the people of Kashmir. The prime minister commended the OIC Secretary General for his statement of August 13, 2008 calling upon the Indian government to end violence against the innocent Kashmiris. He said that heavy-handedness of the Indian forces has created a difficult situation for the Kashmiri people. Scores of Kashmiris have been martyred including prominent Hurriyat leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz. The prime minister said that Pakistan is a peace loving country and desires to solve all outstanding issues with India through dialogue including the core issue of Jammu & Kashmir. He said that Pakistan is steadfast in continuing the peace process and has demonstrated its readiness to engage constructively in the ongoing discussions under the Composite Dialogue to help find solution that is acceptable to India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir. Pakistan maintains that the people of Kashmir should be associated with the dialogue process between India and Pakistan, he added. Ezzat Kamel Mufti told the Prime Minister that OIC attached very high importance to the resolution of Kashmir issue. The OIC Kashmir Contact Group holds its regular meetings at every OIC Summit, at Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM) and on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly every year to evaluate the latest situation in the Indian held Kashmir and calls on India and the international community for its expeditious peaceful resolution. He apprised the prime minister of OIC's so far failed attempts to send a fact finding good-will mission to the Indian held Kashmir to take stock of the current situation there. He regretted that despite OIC's numerous attempts the Indian Government's had opted not to respond to its requests.