Islamabad, India Study Centre (ISC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) hosted a roundtable discussion with Ambassador Yousef Aldobeay, Special Envoy of the OIC Secretary General for Jammu and Kashmir/ Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs. Dr. Khurram Abbas, Director ISC in his introductory remarks welcomed the delegation and highlighted OIC’s consistent support to Pakistan’s stance on Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He said OIC has always raised a strong voice for the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
Other participants included Mr. Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Former Convener of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC); Ms. Farzana Raqoob, former Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir; Mr. Altaf Hussain Wani, Chairman of Kashmir Institute of International Affairs; Ambassador Syed Abrar Hussain, former Ambassador of Pakistan and Vice Chairman of Academics IPS; Advocate Nasir Qadri, Chairman of Legal Forum for Kashmir; Sheikh Abdul Mateen, Member, APHC; and academics and young university students.
DG ISSI Ambassador Sohail Mahmood warmly welcomed the delegation and emphasized how Pakistan has been playing a crucial role as a founding member of OIC. Expressing deep concern over the current Palestinian situation, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood stressed that Palestine and Kashmir were two of the oldest disputes on the agenda of the UN Security Council. Both disputes related to the inalienable right of self-determination. And both remain unresolved due to the obstinacy of the occupying powers. He added that the OIC had consistently and unequivocally supported the Kashmiri right to self-determination as per the UN Security Council resolutions. Highlighting the dire human rights situation in IIOJK, he particularly emphasized that the world was seeing the implementation of a sinister design aimed at changing the demographic structure of the occupied territory, which was a violation of international law and the 4th Geneva Convention. He urged the delegation to implement the OIC Plan of Action on Jammu and Kashmir that was adopted during the 48th Council of Foreign Ministers in March 2022 in Islamabad and the OIC resolutions on Jammu & Kashmir dispute adopted over time.
Special Envoy Ambassador Yousef Aldobeay underlined that there was a dire need to raise awareness regarding the Jammu and Kashmir dispute that concerns Muslims around the world. He reafrirmed OIC’s abiding support for the Kashmir cause and added that the OIC had never supported India’s illegal actions in the occupied territory. He reiterated OIC’s demand that the steps taken by the Indian government on 5 August 2019 be reversed. Ambassador Yousef added that Pakistan was looked at as a leading country in the Muslim world and it had played a pivotal role in securing the UN resolution on combating Islamophobia.
The participants shared their perspectcives on a wide range of aspects, including the historical, legal, human rights and humanitarian, and peace and security dimensions of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. They enumerated details of Indian atrocities and the effect of human rights abuses and illegal detentions on families and communities. Stressing that the OIC should emphasize to the world community the need for alleviating the sufferings of the Kashmiris under occupation, the participants presented specific recommendations on advancing the Kashmir cause in the political, diplomatic and legal domains. The participants also stressed the importance of proactively pursuing the United Nations for the realization of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
Chairman BoG ISSI Ambassador Khalid Mahmood concluded the session while appreciating the OIC’s historical and steadfast support for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.