OIC, Pakistan Strongly Condemn India for Bloodbath of Kashmiri Civilians

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Women mourn during the funeral of Murtaza Bashir, a civilian, who according to local media reports was killed during the clashes in Pulwama on Saturday. — Reuters

Caravan News

JEDDAH — Hours after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called on the international community to “intervene” and stop the ongoing bloodshed in the Indian-administered Kashmir, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued a statement strongly condemning the “killing of innocent Kashmiris by Indian forces”.

“The OIC General Secretariat expressed strong condemnation of the killing of innocent Kashmiris by Indian forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir where direct shooting at demonstrators in Pulwama region claimed the lives of a number of innocent citizens,” read a statement by the organisation on Monday.

“The secretariat condemned this terrorist act and called upon the international community to play its role in order to reach a just and lasting solution to the conflict in Kashmir, in accordance with the relevant international resolutions adopted by the OIC and the UN Security Council, and fulfill the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.”

It added the condolences of the general secretariat to the families of the victims.

While addressing a press conference a day earlier, Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi shared that he had written a letter to the OIC secretary general along with letters to the United Nations secretary general and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Condemning the killing of 11 Kashmiris by Indian forces in Pulwama on Saturday, the Pakistan foreign minister said he had asked the officials to intervene with haste “so that people could get relief from this brutality”.

Qureshi also added that he had asked the OIC to immediately convene an inter-ministerial meeting of its’ Contact Group on Kashmir, saying Pakistan was ready to host the event.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday also sharply condemned the killings of innocent civilians at the hands of Indian security forces.

“We will raise [the] issue of India’s human rights violations in IOK & demand UNSC [UN Security Council] fulfill its J&K plebiscite commitment,” the premier said in a tweet.

Security lockdown

Meanwhile, soldiers and police fanned out across the Jammu and Kashmir on Monday to enforce a security lockdown for a second straight day to stop anti-India protests and foil a call by Kashmiri leaders for a march toward India’s main military garrison in the disputed region.

On Saturday, Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had announced that Kashmiri people, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) group, “will march towards Badami Bagh Army cantonment on Monday [today]” to ask the Indian forces to “kill all of us at one time rather than killing us daily”.

Security forces patrolled streets in Srinagar and sealed off all the roads leading to India’s military garrison in the city.

Police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear and carrying automatic rifles laid steel barricades and coiled razor wire on roads and intersections to cut off neighborhoods in a bid to stop protests.

Authorities also stopped train services and suspended internet on cellphones in the region, a common tactic to make organising protests more difficult and stop dissemination of protest videos by Kashmiris.

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