OIC delegation in Islamabad to assess situation in Kashmir

Chairman Syed Fakhar Imam and members of parliamentary committe on Kashmir in a group photo with delegation led by Mr. Yousaf Aldobeay, special envoy of the OIC Secretary General on Kashmir at Parliamentary house on 2nd March, 2020. (PID Photo)
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Updated 03 March 2020

OIC delegation in Islamabad to assess situation in Kashmir

  • Will travel to disputed area for first-hand study of losses in the area
  • AJK president welcomes delegates, urges India to give fact-finding missions access to its administered territory

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.

Pakistani author wins prestigious ‘Brain of the Year’ award in Britain

Updated 2 min 32 sec ago

Pakistani author wins prestigious ‘Brain of the Year’ award in Britain

  • Arif Anis recognized for ‘One Million Meals’ initiative to feed doctors, nurses, paramedics and key workers during coronavirus pandemic
  • Previous laureates include Professor Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author

ISLAMABAD: Renowned author, thought leader and columnist Arif Anis has won the “Brain of the Year 2020” award by Britain’s Brain Trust, getting recognition for co-founding the ‘One Million Meals’ initiative in April this year to feed National Health Services (NHS) doctors, nurses, paramedics and key workers on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

On Thursday, Brain Trust Chairman and Grand Chessmaster Raymond Keene OBE made the announcement of the award, which is presented each year to a leader who advances mental health through research, support and funding for individuals and organizations.

Previous laureates include Professor Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author.

Anis is the author of I’MPOSSIBLE and Follow Your Dreams, and co-author of Made In Crises. In 2018, the Power100 British Parliamentary Review listed him among the 100 most influential trailblazers in Europe. He was awarded the “Global Man of the Year Award” in 2019 in London for his contributions to the fields of learning and development.

Anis supports Prince of Wales’ British Asian Trust and is a trustee of the world’s largest interest-free microfinance loan provider, Akhuwat, that has disbursed around 4 million interest-free loans (more than $725 million).