ISLAMABAD - The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Monday raised the issue of “alarming use of violence” in Kashmir against the civilians.

In a statement issued here by the foreign ministry, the OIC condemned the continued and alarming use of violence by the Indian security forces in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) against the innocent civilians.

OIC Secretary-General Dr Yousef A al-Othaimeen “expressed his sorrow over the recent incidents resulting in the death and injury to several Kashmiris.”

He condemned the continued use of force by the Indian security forces and called upon India to immediately stop these excessive acts of systematic human rights violations of the Kashmiri people.

The secretary general noted that the Kashmiris remain victims of the denial of their inalienable right to self-determination and have been suffering from non-implementation of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Othaimeen reiterated the OIC’s principled position in support of the Kashmiris for their just struggle for the right of self-determination.

India has also been violating the Line of Control (LoC) and targeting civilian settlements in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The two sides have been summoning each other’s envoys on the LoC firing.

Ties between Pakistan and India have been tense since last July, when the Indian forces killed freedom fighter Burhan Wani.

The tension reached dangerous levels in September when 19 Indian soldiers were killed in Uri in an attack.

India blamed Pakistan of supporting the attackers. Pakistan denied the allegation.

There have been skirmishes along the LoC since the Uri attack with causalities and injuries on both sides.

Kashmir, the bone of contention between the two nuclear powers, is divided between Pakistan and India since 1947 when they gained independence from the British rule. It is a longstanding issue with the United Nations, which remains unresolved.

For the last few weeks, Pakistan is considering options to take the Kashmir issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) without violating the bilateral agreements with India.

The idea received consideration after India got a stay order from the UN court over convicted spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s execution.

Earlier, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj claimed that Pakistan could not take the Kashmir issue to the ICJ under the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration.

Under the Simla Agreement of 1972 the two countries had agreed to “settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations.”

The 1999 Lahore Declaration reiterated the determination of both countries to implementing the Simla Agreement in letter and spirit.

Pakistan and India agreed to resolve all the issues including the Kashmir dispute peacefully.

OIC asks India to stop brutalities in held Kashmir

Shafqat Ali