Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Dr Yousef Ahmad Al-Othaimeen who along with a delegation called on President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif separately in the federal capital on Tuesday.
Dr Othaimeen said that the agenda of Kashmir issue was at the forefront of OIC and expressed grave concern on the ongoing gross human rights violations and inhuman treatment meted out to the innocent people of Kashmir by the Indian security forces.
He assured the Pakistani leadership that the OIC would continue to play its due role for just resolution of Kashmir and Palestine disputes in accordance with aspirations of their people. He said that Pakistan was an important and leading member of the Muslim world and appreciated its efforts to eradicate the scourge of terrorism.
He reiterated his resolve that he would work towards further strengthening the bond of Muslim Ummah to collectively face and address all the challenges being faced by the Muslims around the world. Warmly welcoming the visiting secretary general to Pakistan, the prime minister emphasised that the OIC has an important role to play at the regional and international levels.
Nawaz said that the report of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission that visited Azad Jammu Kashmir and the Line of Control last month should be disseminated widely to highlight the sufferings of the Kashmiri people. He thanked the OIC and Muslim countries for expressing solidarity with the people of Jammu Kashmir for the realisation of their right to self-determination.
He said that regional peace and prosperity were his government’s priority. Pakistan was looking forward to partner with brotherly Muslim countries for mutually beneficial economic development for which the OIC can play a vital role, he said. The prime minister assured the secretary general of Pakistan’s active engagement with the OIC and supporting its goals and objectives.
At the Aiwan-e-Sadr, President Mamnoon urged the OIC to play a proactive role in resolving Jammu Kashmir and Palestine – the two oldest disputes of the world. Both the issues were very close to their hearts which demanded persistent attention, he said.
Welcoming Dr Othaimeen on his first visit to Pakistan, he commended the recent step taken by the OIC in asking India to facilitate the visit of its special representative to the Indian-held Kashmir. He said that the report of the OIC’s rights body on Jammu Kashmir would carry great deal of credibility and respect.
He urged the secretary general to circulate the report to all member states, important capitals of the world and to relevant international forums to highlight the sufferings of the Kashmiri people and the issue of continuous denial of their right to self-determination.
He suggested that the OIC platform must be used to build a narrative against extremism and terrorism. A narrative coming from the OIC would have high credibility and acceptability, he said, and expressed concern at the disturbing rise in the incidents of racial and religious hatred, discrimination, and violence against Muslims especially against Muslim minorities.
He said that Pakistan would extend all possible assistance for hosting the first OIC Summit on science and technology in September 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. “Pakistan is committed to further enhancing cooperation among the OIC members in science and technology,” he said.
The OIC delegation also met Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Fatemi the delegation on Jammu Kashmir, terming the unabated killings of innocent people by the Indian forces as the worst form of state terrorism.
He also highlighted the brutal use of state apparatus against minorities in India, particularly the discriminatory policies and acts of violence against Muslims in India. Strongly condemning the printing, publication and propagation of blasphemous material, he stressed the need for a collective stance against such incidents.