ISSN 2330-717X

India’s Undiplomatic Response To OIC Statement – OpEd

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The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the world’s second-largest organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. OIC’s mandate is to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting global peace and harmony among various people of the world. By keeping in view its objective on 16 May 2021, OIC General Secretariat expresses deep concern over India’s attempts to redraw the electoral boundaries of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, altering the demographic structure of the territory and violating the rights of the Kashmiri people. He reiterated its solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their just quest for the right of self-determination, by relevant UN Security Council resolutions. It is a fact that the “delimitation” attempts made by India are in direct violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention.

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Therefore, India gave an undiplomatic response to the OIC General Secretariat statement because the OIC statement hit a nerve in India and the Narendra Modi government called it an “unwarranted comment.” It has been India’s modus operandi to be adamant to call internationally recognized territorial disputes India’s internal matter. On 5th August 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government divided the territory into two union territories to tighten its grip over the IIOJK area. The occupied territory originally consist of mostly Muslim in Kashmir Valley whereas the Hindu-dominated Jammu and Ladakh. However, on 5th May 2022, the Indian government said a Delimitation Commission had finalized 90 assembly constituencies for the IIOJK, excluding Ladakh, with 43 seats for Jammu and 47 for Kashmir. Earlier, Jammu had 37 seats and the Kashmir valley had 46. The Delimitation Commission claimed it had been difficult to accommodate competing claims from various sides, citing in a statement the region’s “peculiar geo-cultural landscape”.

Subsequently, the statement issued by the OIC soon after the main organ of the OIC Independent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) gave a strong condemnation against the delimitation exercise by India in IIOJK. The OIC’s human rights body called India’s move a clear violation of international human rights and humanitarian laws. Furthermore, the plan to alert the geography in IIOJK exposed the Modi’s strategy to impose Hindu Raj in IIOJK by political coercion, rig the elections through a politically oriented redrawing of constituencies, and throw up a Hindu Chief Minister in disputed Muslim-majority Kashmir. It clearly shows that BJP/ RSS government in India intends to manipulate political factors in its favor in total disregard of the aspirations of the people of IIOJK and UN resolutions. India has intentionally done the delimitation so that it can hold and win elections and legitimize its illegal moves in IIOJK to convince the international community of its steadfastness to democratic values and processes.

Moreover, on 12th May 2022, Pakistan’s National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution, denouncing the order conceded by J&K Delimitation Commission. The resolution highlighted that the delimitation commission seeks to change the Muslim majority of IIOJK into a minority and further marginalize, disenfranchise and disempower the Kashmiri population. India today categorically rejected the resolution passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan on the subject of the delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said to Media regarding the resolution that Pakistan has no locus standi to pronounce or interfere in matters that are internal to India. 

To conclude, Pakistan is a peace-loving nation and wants to resolve the Kashmir dispute through negotiation with India and is desirous that the Kashmir issue should be solved according to the UN resolution and the wishes of the Kashmiri masses because the people of IIJK see a dark future under the Indian occupation. For peace and stability in the South Asian region, international organizations particularly the UN and human rights organizations should come forward and play a mediator role in resolving the Kashmir dispute. Without resolving the Kashmir issue peace in the region will remain a dream.

* The author is an Islamabad-based analyst and holds MPhil in Peace & Conflict Studies and can be reached at [email protected] .

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