Muslim group’s rights commission members visit Kashmir border

Organization of Islamic Cooperation body meet victims of cease-fire violations.

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – A delegation from the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) visited the disputed Kashmir border on Saturday and met victims of the cease-fire violations.

Representatives from Turkey, Malaysia, Morocco, Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were briefed by the Pakistan army on the prevalent security environment along the Line of Control (LOC), a de-facto border that divides Jammu and Kashmir between nuclear neighbors Pakistan and India.

The group was also apprised of arrangements made for the protection of civilians from hostile fire in any eventuality through the construction of community bunkers, according to a statement from the Pakistani army.

They interacted with victims, members of village defense committees and civil administration.

IPHRC’s Chairman Dr. Saeed Mohamed Abdullah from the UAE termed the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s long-standing semi-autonomous status by New Delhi a “dangerous decision,” that would change the region’s demography.

The controversial move in August 2019, he said, violates the human rights of “our brothers and sisters in Jammu and Kashmir.”

Vice Chairman of IPHRC Dr. Haci Ali Acikgul from Turkey demanded the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions to resolve the long-smoldering dispute.

He expressed dismay that India has been ignoring UNSC resolutions, which call for a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, for more than 70 years.

Hafid El Hachmi from Morocco said the delegation expresses solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

“Justice will happen, and they will exercise their right to self-determination; to live with dignity and freedom,” he said.

Dr. Aydin Safikhanli from Azerbaijan termed the cease-fire violations as “gross” human rights abuses

“It falls under the [category of] war crime[s], which should be punished,” he said.

Disputed region

Kashmir has been the main ingredient in the long-simmering rivalry between Pakistan and India since the two nuclear-armed neighbors gained independence from the British Empire in 1947.

The picturesque Himalayan valley is held by the two countries in parts but claimed by both in full. A small sliver of the region is controlled by China.

Since 1947, the two neighbors have fought three wars, two of them regarding Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups have been fighting Indian rule for independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands have been killed and tortured in the conflict since 1989.

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