OIC urges India to safeguard “religious rights” of people of Jammu and Kashmir

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at a meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir at the level of Permanent Representatives in Jeddah, August 6, 2019. (Photo courtesy OIC twitter)
Updated 14 August 2019

OIC urges India to safeguard “religious rights” of people of Jammu and Kashmir

  • Expresses concern over Kashmiris not being able to observe religious rituals during Eid-al-Adha
  • Calls on the international community to increase efforts for a negotiated settlement 

ISLAMABAD: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation secretariat on Wednesday urged Indian authorities to protect the religious rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan region whose special status was revoked by India last week, followed by a clampdown on communications and freedom of movement.
“The OIC General Secretariat has learned with concern the reports of curtailment of religious freedoms of Kashmiri Muslims in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, including complete lockdown even on the auspicious occasion of Eid, denying Eid congregations and preventing Kashmiri Muslims from observing religious rituals,” the OIC said in a statement. 
“Denial of religious rights constitutes a serious violation of international human rights law and is an affront to Muslims across the world,” the OIC said, adding: “Therefore, the OIC urges Indian authorities to ensure the protection of the rights of Kashmiri Muslims and the exercise of their religious rights without any hindrance.”
The OIC also called upon the international community, including the United Nations and other relevant bodies, to increase efforts for a negotiated settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
India revoked the special status of its portion of Himalayan Kashmir, known as Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5, and moved to quell widespread unrest by shutting down Internet, landlines and cellphone communication and curtailing freedom of movement.
Islamabad retaliated by suspending bilateral trade and all public transport links with India, as well as expelling New Delhi’s ambassador to Islamabad.
India rules the populous Kashmir Valley and the Hindu-dominated region around Jammu city, while Pakistan controls Azad Kashmir, a wedge of territory in the west. China holds a thinly populated high-altitude area in the north.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from colonial power Great Britain in 1947, They came close to another one in February after a deadly attack on Indian police by a Pakistan-based militant group resulted in airstrikes by both countries.
India’s revocation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir blocks the state’s right to frame its own laws and allows non-residents to buy property there. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has said old laws prohibiting people from outside Kashmir from buying property, settling there and taking up government jobs had hindered its development.


Pakistan Property Show Dubai a 'source of pride' for expats, says property tycoon

Updated 8 min 12 sec ago

Pakistan Property Show Dubai a 'source of pride' for expats, says property tycoon

  • Economic reforms creating real estate opportunities in Pakistan, Zameen.com CEO tells Arab News
  • The two-day event provides visitors with a great opportunity to explore affordable property options

DUBAI: Pakistan’s economic reforms and tax implementation scheme have benefitted genuine buyers and developed their trust in the country’s real estate market, a senior property expert told Arab News on Friday.
Zeeshan Ali Khan, CEO of Zameen.com, said that despite the global economic downturn in the property business, there was still an opportunity for buyers in Pakistan.
Khan was speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the two-day Pakistan Property Show (PPS) that kicked off at the Dubai World Trade Center on December 6.
He said that while bulk buying was not happening, buyers in the Gulf states were still interested in the property market of his country.

Exhibitors from across Pakistan at the Pakistan Property Show at Dubai World Trade Centre on Dec 6, 2019. (AN Photo by Asma Ali Zain)

The event in Dubai has offered overseas Pakistanis a chance to explore rewarding investment opportunities available in some of the most reliable and promising real estate projects.
In addition, since the exhibition features projects from several major cities of Pakistan, it provides visitors with a great opportunity to explore affordable property options.
Khan said that taking the property exhibition to an international level was a tough undertaking in the beginning, though he added that the PPS had gradually acquired its own brand recognition.
“The success story of this event is a source of pride for Pakistanis living in the Gulf,” he said.
“Increasing investment opportunities in the property sector is vital for setting the sector on track to progress, and the main objective of organizing such events is to circulate money in the investment sector, which, in turn, will benefit the overall economy of Pakistan,” he continued.
“The World Trade Center holds its own exclusive status in terms of trade and investment activities in the region where only the best corporates and business entities can stage their activities, and for a Pakistan-based company to organize such a grand event there is definitely a matter of national pride,” Khan noted.
He also highlighted the fact that most of the online traffic Zameen.com received was from Pakistani expatriates residing in the Gulf countries.

Exhibitors from across Pakistan particpating in the Pakistan Property Show at Dubai World Trade Centre on Dec 6, 2019. (AN Photo by Asma Ali Zain)

“The event thus offers great opportunities to Pakistanis living here to make solid, safe and rewarding investments in reliable real estate developments.”
Marwan Ahmed bin Ghalita, CEO of Real Estate Regulatory Agency, Dubai, inaugurated the event.
“I have seen a lot of [Pakistani] companies offering unique projects, sharing data and knowledge from Pakistan to Dubai and Dubai to Pakistan,” he said while interacting with various exhibitors and senior management of Zameen.com.
“Today there are no borders for investment and real estate is the biggest investment that everybody is looking for,” he added.
The PPS 2019 featured the biggest names from Pakistan’s most urban centers, such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Peshawar, Murree, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Raheem Yar Khan, Gwadar, Bahawalpur and DG Khan.
In the last two editions of the event, the property extravaganza attracted a combined audience of over 31,000. Prominent names among this year’s exhibitors included “Eighteen” and “Capital Smart City.”
The show is organized by Zameen.com and this is the company’s third consecutive annual property exhibition event in Dubai.
Zameen.com has so far held a total of 17 major property exhibitions in different countries, attracting over a million visitors.