ISLAMABAD: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir held an emergency meeting in Jeddah on Tuesday, expressing deep concern over mounting tensions in between India and Pakistan and calling for immediate de-escalation in the region.
Pakistan’s Press Consular in Jeddah, Arshad Munir, told Arab News that the meeting was requested by Islamabad following the deteriorating situation in Indian administered Kashmir in the wake of the Pulwama attack.
The situation further deteriorated on Tuesday after India claimed its fighter jets had breached Pakistan’s airspace and targeted alleged terror camps across the Line of Control (LoC).
According to an official handout issued by the OIC, the meeting was chaired by Assistant Secretary General Hameed A. Opeloyeru, and attended by Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Tehmina Janjua, and the Permanent Representatives of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Niger as well as President of Pakistan administered Kashmir Masood Khan.
The assistant secretary general “strongly condemned the recent wave of repression, brutal killing of innocent Kashmiri civilians by the Indian occupied forces, [and] frequent incidents of rape especially of minor girls.”
He also “reiterated OIC’s principled position on supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir in achieving their legitimate rights, including the right of self-determination” and emphasized that the protracted conflict must be “resolved in accordance with the aspiration of the Kashmiri people and the OIC and United Nations resolutions,” said the statement.
The contact group also applauded Prime Minister Imran Khan for trying to normalize relations with India and suggesting that the two countries should try to resolve all outstanding issues between them through a dialogue process.
Apart from that, the participants of the meeting also called on the OIC and the UN Secretaries General to use their good offices to put an end to the dangerous escalation by India, which, they added, threatened regional peace and security.
On March 1, the 46th session of the council of foreign ministers of the OIC will take place in Abu Dhabi in which Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is expected to lead the Pakistani delegation.
For the first time, India will also attend the upcoming OIC session, as a “Guest of Honor.”