Extraordinary OIC moot in Jeddah discusses Israeli’s annexation plan

07:59 PM | 15 Sep, 2019
Extraordinary OIC moot in Jeddah discusses Israeli’s annexation plan
RIYADH -  The 16th extraordinary meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) was held Sunday at the OIC Secretariat in Jeddah to discuss the announcement by the Israeli prime minister of his intention to annex territories in the occupied West Bank in the event of winning Israeli elections.

The meeting was called by the OIC Secretariat on the request of Saudi Arabia as Chair of the 14th Islamic Summit.

Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood led the Pakistan delegation in the extraordinary meeting, which was chaired by Saudi Foreign Minister Dr Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, said a press release received here.

In his statement, Minister Shafqat Mehmood said the unilateral announcement, in violation of the relevant UNSC resolutions and principles of the international law, was a dangerous trend and threat to international peace and security.

He also expressed that it would further complicate the already tense situation and destabilize the region.

He appealed to the OIC members, the United Nations and the international community to revive their obligation towards the people of Palestine and Al Quds Al-Sharif.

He added the UN and the OIC members should condemn such irresponsible announcements, being used as party slogans in the election campaign, which could jeopardize peace in the region.

He also drew attention to the unfolding sufferings of the Kashmiri people in the past seven weeks at the hands of another occupying power.

He told the meeting that the people of Palestine and Kashmir had many things in common with both sharing a history of over seven decades of occupation and their right to self-determination, protected under international law, continued to be trampled upon.

Both of them have been subjected to collective punishment, state-sanctioned terror, and unspeakable suffering. Their struggle for legitimate rights has been deliberately targeted as “terrorism” to divert the world’s attention from the repression of Israel and India. Their fundamental rights and freedoms have been clamped down, he added.

The minister said that the people of Kashmir had been locked into a giant prison since August 5, 2019, with their telephones and communications cut-off, their children have been abducted from their homes in the middle of nights and subjected to torture, their political leaders arrested and imprisoned, and their access to health services and life-saving drugs curtailed.

He said the Muslims were prevented from offering Eid Al Adha and Friday prayers in Srinagar and other parts of Indian occupied Kashmir.

Shafqat Mahmood said the Indian claims of normalcy and easing of restrictions were being consistently challenged by the international media.

Even governments that had robust political and economic relations with India had expressed serious concerns over the deteriorating situation in the occupied territory. Calls continue to mount on India to immediately remove the indefensible lockdown, lift the curfew and other restrictions, and respect the Kashmiris’ rights.

The minister lauded the OIC and its member countries for their support at the Human Rights Council and thanked the OIC Secretary-General and the Independent Human Right Commission for the consistent messages of solidarity and support for the Kashmiri people in all these days.

“The people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir had expectations and hopes from the OIC countries. Their struggle is just. Their rights, dignity and lives must be protected. We look forward to political and diplomatic support for the Kashmiri people and solution to the Kashmir dispute through UN Security Council resolutions,” he remarked.

The minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s principled position that the establishment of a viable, independent and the contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, was the only way to bring peace and stability in the Middle East.