OIC to expand Contact Group on Kashmir

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Srinagar: Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) Prof Ekmeldin Ehsanoglu has agreed to suggestion of Hurriyat Conference (M) to expand the OIC contact group on Kashmir. A spokesman of Hurriyat (M) said the chairman of the conglomerate, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, along with Barrister Abdul Majid Tramboo and Dr Nazir Ahmad Shawl called on Prof Ehsanoglu at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah and discussed various issues with him. Prof Ehsanoglu, according to the spokesman, said, “The OIC needs to be more proactive on Jammu and Kashmir issue.” He said Mirwaiz told him (Prof Ehsanoglu) that presently there are representatives of four countries – Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Niger – in the OIC contact group on Kashmir. “We suggest that OIC should expand the Kashmir contact group and have representatives from Africa, Asia and Middle East in it.” He (Prof Ehsanoglu) agreed to the suggestion put forward by Mirwaiz, he said. “In order to garner support for Kashmir cause the contact group on Kashmir needs to be expanded,” the spokesman quoted Prof Ehsanoglu as having said. The OIC Secretary General, according to the spokesman, said: “Political, diplomatic, developmental and human rights aspect of the conflict in Kashmir need to addressed seriously. The region is expecting new developments in the times to come in which Kashmir resolution becomes more crucial. It is vital for the OIC to strengthen the bonds of goodwill between India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir and put its weight behind a result oriented peace process. Any ultimate result has to be in accordance with the genuine aspirations of Kashmiris.” Mirwaiz, the spokesman said, invited the Secretary General OIC to visit Kashmir. “The Secretary General accepted Mirwaiz’s invitation on behalf of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “He (Prof Ehsanoglu) assured Mirwaiz that the OIC will strengthen its relations with the true representatives of Kashmir,” he added. Mirwaiz, according to the spokesman, apprised Prof Ehsanoglu about the latest situation in Kashmir. “In this context he referred to political realities and human rights situation on the ground. He emphasized on the fact that the Hurriyat is committed to a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir conflict and in this regard is willing to engage with India and Pakistan but at the same time he expressed his reservation that this process may not be entirely successful unless a congenial atmosphere is created in the state and all draconian laws including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act are withdrawn,” the spokesman quoted Mirwaiz as having said.

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