OIC’s IPHRC to visit Pakistan and Kashmir

MUZAFFARABAD, PAKISTAN - JULY 25: People cast their votes during General Elections of Azad Jammu and Kashmir at the polling station in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir on July 17, 2021. ( Chudary Naseer - Anadolu Agency )

A 12-member delegation of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will be visiting Islamabad and Azad Jammu & Kashmir from 4-9 August 2021, as part of its mandate to monitor the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), especially as a result of the spate of Indian illegal actions since 5 August 2019.

The Commission was mandated by the 13th Islamic Summit and the 42nd Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) to monitor the human rights violations in IIOJK and submit regular reports.

The IPHRC, at its 17th regular session held in March 2021, regretted the lack of response from the Indian government on a Fact-Finding visit to IIOJK. Accordingly, the Commission decided to undertake a visit to Azad Jammu and Kashmir for an impact assessment of continuing restrictions on Kashmiris and egregious human rights violations by the Indian Occupation Forces in IIOJK. During the visit, the IPHRC delegation will travel to Muzaffarabad and the Line of Control, and interact with Kashmiri leadership, refugees from IIOJK and victims of Indian atrocities.

Consistent with its mandate, the IPHRC has been expressing concern about the human rights situation in IIOJK. In the aftermath of the illegal Indian actions of 5 August 2019, the IPHRC held an “Open Session” on the situation IIOJK in November 2019 and expressed serious concern on the illegal Indian actions to change the status of IIOJK, which worsened the human rights situation.

The IPHRC, a statutory body of OIC, conducted its first visit to Pakistan and AJK in March 2017 and submitted a detailed report on the state of human rights violations in IIOJK to the 44th Session of OIC-CFM in July 2017.

The visit of the IPHRC coincides with the completion of two years of Indian illegal actions of 5 August 2019, in flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The visit would be significant in drawing international attention towards the urgent need to address the egregious human rights situation in IIOJK and for a peaceful resolution in accordance with the UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

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