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Protect Muslim interests: Mirwaiz tells OIC


New York, (Greater Kashmir News): The chairman of [Kashmir] Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has urged the Organization of Islamic Conference to protect the interests of the Muslims and to work towards the settlement of conflicts, including the Kashmir dispute.

“The OIC has consultative and cooperative relations with the United Nations and it can play a vital role in getting the conflicts involving its member states resolved,” Mirwaiz said while addressing a gathering of foreign ministers of the OIC here on Friday.

“I stand before you not just as a representative of the Kashmiri people struggling for their inalienable rights of self-determination, but, more importantly as a believer. I urge the Ummah to reclaim its intellectual and spiritual glory. I am proud of the accomplishments of the OIC, but still lot needs to be done,” he said, “We hope you will use your moral and political influence to initiate a peace process which will lead to a speedy and an honourable settlement of the Kashmir dispute and restore the inalienable right of self-determination of Kashmiris.”

Mirwaiz said that unresolved Kashmir dispute was the underlying cause of tension between two nuclear rivals– India and Pakistan. “It directly affects the peace and stability of the region which is home to more than 1.2 billion people, and the peace and security of many more nations beyond,” he added.

Mirwaiz said that former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, had described Kashmir as the ‘most dangerous” place on the earth.

He said that India and Pakistan and had fought two wars over Kashmir and after Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008, situation had taken an ominous turn. “With extremist threat growing in the region, the escalating turmoil in Kashmir promises to engulf the entire region extending from Afghanistan to Bangladesh,” Mirwaiz added.

He said that Hurriyat was committed to a peaceful and political solution of the Kashmir dispute. “We are for a meaningful dialogue between India, Pakistan and the leadership of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Mirwaiz said that for a meaningful dialogue between India, Pakistan and the leadership of Jammu and Kashmir the following measures needed to be taken: “Complete demilitarization of Jammu and Kashmir through a phased withdrawal of the troops including paramilitary forces of both India and Pakistan from the areas under their control. All the draconian laws including Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Area Act, Public Safety Act and Armed Forces Special Powers Act should be revoked forthwith. Human rights violations should end and international HR organizations should be given access to Kashmir. The restoration of the rights of peaceful assembly and demonstrations. All the political prisoners languishing in jails should be released unconditionally. Kashmiri leaders should be allowed to travel freely, and both the countries should allow free movement of people on either side of the ceasefire line in Jammu and Kashmir.”

Mirwaiz regretted that he couldn’t attend OIC meeting of Foreign ministers in Damascus, Syria in May 2009 as he was denied travel documents by the Government of India. “I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to address this highly esteemed gathering of foreign ministers of the OIC on the subject of Kashmir,” he added.

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