Emergency meeting of OIC Contact Group on Kashmir today: Kashmir-focused wing

JEDDAH: An emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Kashmir-focused wing has been called today after the Indian government rushed through a presidential decree earlier to abolish Article 370 of the Constitution which granted special status to Indian-occupied Kashmir.

The session which will be held in Jeddah will be attended by representatives from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and other member countries.

On Monday, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the resolution to scarp Article 370 in Rajya Sabha, which revoked the special status granted to occupied Kashmir and made the state a Union Territory with the legislature. The announcement sparked chaotic scenes in the Indian parliament, with opposition politicians shouting protests, and the Congress describing the decision as a “catastrophic step”.

The latest development was strongly condemned by Pakistani politicians. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said there was a threat of genocide and ethnic cleansing in occupied Kashmir after India revoked Article 370. He added that Pakistan would request and appeal to the United Nations, OIC, friendly countries and human rights organisations not to remain silent on the issue.

Earlier, the OIC had said it was deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in IoK including reports of deployment of additional paramilitary forces and use of banned cluster munition by the Indian forces to target civilians.

The OIC had reiterated its call upon the international community to rise up to its responsibility for the peaceful resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.