New York, July 18 (KMS): The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s envoys have expressed solidarity with the people of occupied Kashmir at a briefing held by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Briefing the OIC ambassadors from different countries on the current situation of human rights in occupied Kashmir, Maleeha Lodhi said that the plight of the long-suffering Kashmiri people had been brought into fresh spotlight by the June 14 report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein.

“This is the first ever UN human rights report on the grim situation in Kashmir and covers the period between June 2016 and April 2018,” she said, adding that significantly UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres also endorsed the report on July 12.

Maleeha Lodhi highlighted key aspects of the report, especially the impunity with which human rights are being violated and the lack of access to justice in the occupied territory. She also referred to the report’s mention of draconian laws in force in occupied Kashmir including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the Public Safety Act (PSA), which says that these laws have created ‘structures’ that “obstruct the normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardize the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations”.

The briefing by Maleeha Lodhi was followed by an interactive dialogue. The OIC ambassadors reiterated their support to the legitimate cause of the Kashmiri people and expressed their readiness to work with Pakistan in implementation of the report.

The meeting was attended by Ambassadors and Deputy Permanent Representatives of Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Niger, Turkey, Iran, Algeria, Somalia, Sudan and the representative of the OIC to the UN.

Later, Maleeha Lodhi also held a meeting with representatives of various Kashmiri organizations and briefed them on the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The participants appreciated the Pakistani Ambassador’s efforts for highlighting the Kashmir dispute in the UN. She assured the Kashmiri representatives that the Pakistan Mission would continue to project the Kashmir dispute at all available forums at the UN.

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