JEDDAH: Valley in tears…Kashmir cries for help were the words that greeted guests at a function organized by the Kashmir Committee at the residence of Pakistans consul general here to mark Black Day. The Black Day is observed annually to commemorate the landing of Indian security forces in Srinagar on Oct. 27, 1947. The Jammu and Kashmir dispute is one of the oldest unresolved issues on the OIC agenda and one that has always remained a top priority for the organization, Ezzat Kamel Mufti, assistant secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the OIC secretary-general special representative on Jammu and Kashmir, told the gathering. We are here to remember the martyrs. So, let us salute all Kashmiri martyrs,
who made supreme sacrifices while fighting for their just cause,” he said and expressed confidence that their struggle would soon yield results.
“The OIC has already reaffirmed full solidarity and support to the Kashmiri people in their legitimate struggle for self-determination through peaceful means and in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions,” said Mufti. He appreciated the commitment made for an early, peaceful and negotiated settlement of the dispute by Pakistan and hoped that India would show the same determination in order to give the peace process a significant push. Mufti said he would continue to follow-up and implement all decisions taken by the OIC member states in support of the Kashmiri people. Consul General Zaigham Uddin Azam said: “India’s illegal occupation of Kashmir is a dark chapter in the history of human rights. A continued denial of the right to self-determination to the Kashmiri people is morally unacceptable, economically unsustainable and politically inadmissible with regard to any scheme aimed at ensuring global and regional peace, stability and security.”
India that has failed to implement many OIC resolutions on Kashmir is making a mockery of Islamic solidarity by seeking an observer status at the OIC, the consul general said. “The bloodshed must end, the illegal occupation must cease and the common denominator in the scores of UN and OIC resolutions on the need for peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute, that is, the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people, must be granted,” the consul general said.
There are some signs of optimism in this direction embodied in the ongoing Pakistan-India peace process but a demonstrated lack of sincerity on the part of India to address the core issue of Kashmir in a meaningful manner has impeded any significant development so far. “The claims of being the world’s largest democracy need to be viewed in the light of actions that reflect the world’s largest hypocrisy,” the consul general said. Pakistan has demonstrated flexibility and willingness to move forward on the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir in the Pakistan-India peace process. However, the bold initiative of President Pervez Musharraf, which has been supported by the OIC and the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and is aimed at seeking a resolution to the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, is yet to be reciprocated by India.
Sufferings of the Kashmiri people spanning over the past six decades were highlighted during the other speeches made to mark the day. Mohammed Khaled, president of the committee, said the day was being observed to highlight the plight of Kashmiris caused by India’s deployment of 700,000 troops in the valley. Thousands of its inhabitants had been martyred. “It’s only a matter of time that India will have to concede the right of self-determination to the Kashmiris,” he said.
He reminded how the former Soviet Union disintegrated in the wake of its occupation in Afghanistan. “India needs to learn from history and change its attitude to the dispute, otherwise it too will disintegrate,” he said. Munir Gondal, secretary general of the committee, and students from Pakistan International School and Gharnata International School also spoke.