PM Imran Khan rallies support for Kashmir among Arab leaders, OIC

In this file photo, PM Imran Khan speaking to 14th session of Islamic session on June 1, 2019 at Makkah (Photo Courtesy: PTI Twitter)
Updated 11 August 2019

PM Imran Khan rallies support for Kashmir among Arab leaders, OIC

  • All leaders have urged restraint and dialogue
  • Since its creation in 1969, the OIC has supported Kashmir’s right to self-determination

ISLAMABAD: Following a rushed presidential decree in Indian Parliament that revoked special autonomy granted to disputed Jammu and Kashmir, claimed by both India and Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to leaders of the Arab world and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation via telephone, to garner support for the cause of Muslim majority Kashmir.
Created during the Cold War in 1969, the OIC supported Pakistan against Soviet-aligned India on the issue of Kashmir, and continued to advocate for Kashmir’s right to self-determination after the war ended, which was seen as an illustration of the organizations’ outright support for Pakistan. 
On Thursday, following a phone conversation between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia called on all concerned parties in the region to maintain peace through dialogue, in accordance with relevant international resolutions.
In 1994, Saudi Arabia co-sponsored a Pakistani resolution on Kashmir at the UN Commission on Human Rights.
On Friday, PM Khan also made a telephone call to King Hamad bin Isa of Bahrain to discuss developments in Kashmir, where a strict curfew has been imposed. That same day, reports emerged of a 10,000 strong protest in Kashmir’s main city, Srinagar, with Indian forces using tear gas and pellets to fight the protesters according to a Reuters report.
A statement issued by the UAE’s ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation on Thursday, said the UAE hoped India and Pakistan would resolve the crisis through constructive communication.
The Hindu right-wing Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) which returned to power earlier this year in the Indian general elections, has long called for the abolishment of special legal status to Kashmir and the repeal of a constitutional article in place to protect its Muslim majority demographic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made the revocation a rallying point in his re-election campaign.
Since the shock move, Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with India, expelled the Indian envoy and suspended bilateral trade.


Protests mount in Indian-administered Kashmir clampdown

Updated 15 September 2019

Protests mount in Indian-administered Kashmir clampdown

  • Tensions remain high in the disputed Himalayan region
  • New Delhi last month to revoked the territory’s decades old semi-autonomous status

SRINAGAR, India: Kashmir has seen an average of nearly 20 protests per day against Indian rule over the last six weeks despite a security lockdown to quell unrest, a senior government source said.
Tensions remain high in the disputed Himalayan region after New Delhi’s controversial decision last month to revoke the territory’s decades old semi-autonomous status.
Despite a curfew, movement restrictions and the severe curtailment of Internet and mobile phone services, public demonstrations against India — mostly in the largest city Srinagar — have been constant, the source said late Saturday.
Altogether there have been 722 protests since August 5, with Baramulla district in the northwest and Pulwama in the south the biggest hotspots after Srinagar, the source said.
Since that date, nearly 200 civilians and 415 security force members have been hurt, according to the source.
Ninety-five of the civilians were injured in the last two weeks, the official said.
So far more than 4,100 people — including 170 local political leaders — have been detained across the valley, with 3,000 released in the past two weeks, the official said.
It was unclear whether any politicians were among those released.
Indian authorities have so far insisted that outbreaks of violence have been minimal, and that only five civilians have died since the clampdown started.
The relatives of four of those killed said they believed the security forces were responsible for their deaths.
The latest updates came as police said Thursday that three men suspected of belonging to a Pakistan-based militant organization were arrested while transporting weapons and ammunition toward Indian Kashmir.
Nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir, which was split between the two countries in 1947.
India deployed extra troops ahead of the August 5 decision to reinforce some 500,000 soldiers already stationed in the region, one of the most militarized places on the planet.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday promised to raise the decision to strip Indian Kashmir of its autonomy at the upcoming UN General Assembly session.