Pakistan appears to have been able to convince the world’s largest bloc of Islamic countries to its side on the Kashmir issue. Late on Friday, Pakistan said that the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has expressed concern about the situation in Kashmir. Iyad Madani, the secretary-general of OIC, met Sartaj Aziz, the foreign affairs adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister. After their meeting, Madani reportedly said, “The reason for my visit to Pakistan is the current situation in Kashmir.”
He said that the situation in Kashmir is deteriorating and that it is not an internal issue of India.
Sartaj Aziz (L) with OIC secretary general Iyad Madani in Islamabad.
“The situation is getting worse rather than better and this cannot continue,” Madani said. Madani supported Pakistan’s call for a referendum over Kashmir and praised Pakistan’s ‘efforts’ of trying to find a “peaceful solution” to the issue. “We should not be afraid of referendum,” A Pakistani statement issued after Madani-Aziz meeting says, adding that it was up to the Kashmiri people to decide their future.
Today marks the 44th day of turmoil in Kashmir, which started on July 8 following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani by security forces.
Pakistan has ever since been trying to take advantage of the issue by accusing India of committing rights abuses in Kashmir at the international forum, including the United Nations. Islamabad hailed Wani as a ‘martyr’ and also observed a ‘black day’ to honour him and other terrorists. Kashmiris have taken to the streets with renewed calls for ‘azaadi’ – separation from India. They have been receiving support from Pakistan, which believes that Kashmir will become its part if a referendum is held, and Indian sympathisers from the left-wing intelligentsia.
India maintains that according to UNSC rules a referendum over Kashmir is not possible till Pakistan vacates the Pak-occupied-Kashmir region including Gilgit-Baltistan.
Time and again New Delhi has provided evidence that Pakistan arms terror groups in Kashmir and gives shelter to and trains anti-India terrorists in their country. A curfew is still on in Kashmir, which was extended all through the night in the wake of a nighttime attack on a military convoy.