The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Monday strongly condemned the killing of seven civilians by government forces in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district two days earlier. In a statement, a spokesman of the OIC said: “The general secretariat of the OIC expresses strong condemnation of the killing of innocent Kashmiris by Indian forces in Kashmir where direct shooting at demonstrators in Pulwama region claimed lives of a number of innocent citizens and injured others”.
“The OIC general secretariat condemns this terrorist act and calls upon the international community to play its role in order to reach a just and lasting solution to the conflict in Kashmir, in accordance with the relevant international resolutions adopted by the OIC and the UN Security Council, and fulfill the aspirations of the Kashmiri people,” the statement read, adding: “The general secretariat expresses condolences to the families of the innocent victims who lost their lives as a result of this wicked terrorist act and wished the wounded prompt recovery.”
The OIC also asked New Delhi to allow the organisation and its human rights wing to send a fact finding mission to Kashmir.
In a tweet, the group of 57 Muslim countries said the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of OIC received a detailed briefing on the “worsening human rights situation in Kashmir valley”.
“OIC_IPHRC recently received detailed briefing on the worsening #human rights situation in Kashmir. @OIC_IPHRC condemned the recent wave of violence against civilians & called on Indian government to allow #OIC & IPHRC fact finding mission to visit Kashmir,” it said in another tweet.
Later, a statement OIC-IPHRC said it strongly condemned the “deplorable extrajudicial killings of innocent Kashmiris in Pulwama district of Kashmir by the Indian security forces.”
The statement urged the ‘Indian government to put an end to the human rights abuses.’
“The excessive and arbitrary use of force by Indian forces against innocent civilians, peacefully protesting for their legitimate rights, is deplorable and a blatant violation of their human rights including the right to life, right to freedom of expression, right to peaceful protests and assembly and other fundamental human rights,” the statement said.
It said the commission notes that the modern history of Kashmir has become synonymous with “insidious systematic and systemic ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Kashmiris where all possible means of violence including mass blinding through pellet guns, rape and molestation against women, enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings of youth are used to quell their legitimate and well recognised demand for self-determination.”
“The objective report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued in June this year, aptly covers these violations in detail. The High Commissioner for Human Rights also called for establishing a Commission of Inquiry under UN auspices to comprehensively investigate the confirmed allegations of human rights violations, which are fully supported by the IPHRC,” it said.
The Commission also urges the government of India to abide by its international human rights obligations by bringing an end to the gross human rights violations and allow the international human rights community including the UN and OIC to visit Kashmir to objectively and independently report on the human rights situation, it said.
It also urged the UN, the OIC and the international community to exert pressure on the Indian government to immediately stop the “heavy handedness of its security forces”, guarantee protection of human rights of innocent Kashmiris and accede to UN mandated plebiscite for durable peace in the region.
The OIC’s statement came a day after Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he had written a letter to the OIC secretary general along with letters to the United Nations secretary general and the UN high commissioner for human rights on the “worsening situation” in Kashmir.