ISLAMABAD: Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir, Ambassador Yousef M. Al Dobeay, arrived in Pakistan on Monday for a five-day official visit which ends on March 6, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement.
“The special envoy and accompanying delegation members will visit the Line of Control (LOC) to get first-hand knowledge of the loss of lives and property caused by indiscriminate firing of the Indian forces,” Aisha Farooqui, FO spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the delegation will also be briefed on the “deteriorating human rights situation” in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Al Dobeay’s visit comes in the backdrop of India’s decision to do away with Kashmir’s special autonomous status on August 5 last year.
“The OIC has extended its steadfast support to the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for the inalienable right to self-determination. The organization has a dedicated contact group on Jammu and Kashmir since 1994,” the statement added.
The FO said that since August, the OIC’s contact group had met twice on the matter and is actively pursuing the deteriorating situation in the region.
“The OIC and its human rights body, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), have issued several statements condemning India’s actions and reiterating their principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” the statement said, adding that a communiqué issued by the contact group after a ministerial-level meeting in New York “reflected the OIC’s strong commitment to the Kashmir cause.”
AJK President Sardar Masood Khan told Arab News via phone that Al Dobeay’s visit to the disputed territory and Pakistan is highly important.
“We are grateful to the OIC for strongly condemning Indian actions on 5 August and 31 October, last year, and demanding an end to repression in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) and serious efforts to resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” Khan said, adding that Al Dobeay is a representative of 57 Islamic nations.
“We would welcome him in Azad Kashmir but India has closed off IOJK to him and other credible envoys and lawmakers,” he said, demanding for India to lift the ban and allow fact-finding missions into its administered territory.
Sheikh Abdul Mateen, spokesperson of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference hailed the OIC’s role in espousing the cause of Jammu and Kashmir at the international level.
“As the Kashmiris in IOK are under lockdown for more than 200 days and Indian forces atrocities increased many folds during this time, this visit is very important to get first-hand knowledge from Kashmiri people and raise it at the highest forum of Muslim countries,” Mateen told Arab News.