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Rights abuses in Kashmir must end: Islamic nations

By Suman Guha Mozumder
September 23, 2010 08:57 IST

The Organisation of Islamic Countries contact group on Jammu and Kashmir has called for an end to alleged human rights violations in 'Indian-occupied Kashmir.'

Meeting on the sidelines of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, the group -- chaired by OIC Secretary General Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu -- expressed OIC's strong solidarity with what he described as the Kashmir cause.

Taking note of the 'ongoing peaceful movement for freedom in Indian-occupied Kashmir', he also stressed the need for resumption of the dialogue process between Pakistan and India to achieve a just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attended the meeting alongside senior representatives from Saudi Arabia and Niger besides Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan, prime minister of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

In his address, Qureshi expressed appreciation to OIC for the strong and consistent support to the 'legitimate struggle' of the Kashmiri people for the right to self-determination.

He focused on the peaceful and non-violent struggle of the Kashmiri people and underlined Pakistan's diplomatic, political and moral support to the Kashmir cause.

Speaking on the occasion, Sardar Khan talked about the 'sacrifices' of the Kashmiri people. He urged India to reciprocate 'Pakistan's sincere efforts' to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Ghulam Nabi Fai, head of the US-based Kashmiri American Council, claimed that the Kashmiri leadership, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Omar Farooq and Yasin Malik remain under house arrest in Kashmir.

Fai said that there is a need for continued support of the international community to the 'peaceful and unarmed struggle of the Kashmiri people.' Later, Fai presented a Memorandum on Kashmir to the OIC Secretary General.

Suman Guha Mozumder in New York