SRINAGAR: The pro-freedom camp in Jammu and Kashmir has urged the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to move beyond passing ritualistic resolutions on Kashmir in its annual conferences and rather focus on concrete steps for the resolution of Kashmir issue.
The OIC recently affirmed support for the “just struggle of people of Kashmir for their right to self-determination” at the 13th OIC Summit.
Since its creation in 1969, the OIC has adopted several resolutions on Kashmir which urged India to “implement the UN resolutions on Kashmir and stop human rights violations in the region”.
The pro-freedom camp welcomed the OIC’s recent resolution on Kashmir but it also asked the world body to move beyond passing of resolutions and adopting communiqués.
The Syed Ali Geelani-led faction of Hurriyat Conference believes that the OIC may lose its relevance if it doesn’t cater to the issues confronting the Muslim populations in various regions of the world, a purpose for which the Organisation has been created.
Ashraf Saraf, a Muzaffarabad based leader of Hurriyat Conference said that the OIC has not been able to address the sensitive and strategic issues the Muslim Ummah faces in the world. Saraf has been attending the OIC summits for almost three decades as representative of the azaadi camp.
Saraf appreciates the OIC’s role to offer financial assistance to poor Muslim nations but he rues that the Organisation has failed to take a firm stand on political issues. “By and large the OIC could not emerge as an effective organization to play some decisive role in resolving issues of Palestine and Kashmir,” he said adding that there is no optimism that in future the organsation can play such a groundbreaking role.
He said issues like Kashmir and Palestine were too big for OIC to resolve. “The OIC is a grouping of poor countries with less GDP and limited military and economic power,” Saraf said.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader Saraf said that Pakistan was using its influence to get a resolution about Kashmir passed in OIC summits. “My observation is that it is a routine work wherein Pakistan manages to pass a resolution after lot of efforts. Otherwise, I have never seen this organisation seriously concerned towards Kashmir,” he said.
Saraf appeared optimistic on the fact that countries like Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, and Indonesia were “mulling to come up strongly” on issues of Palestine and Kashmir “Otherwise, what can you expect of such an organization that has different priorities where Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) felicitates Narendra Modi with country’s highest award,” he said.
Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that Muslim countries do not face any dearth of resources. “The problem is that they (OIC countries) do not do their job properly,” he said.
He said the Muslim nations were caught in mutual rivalries that are also contributing to its failure in resolving the issues.
Mirwaiz said currently the OIC is dominated by Saudi Arabia which has its own interests with India and other nations. “Such kind of bilateral relationship also prevents OIC member states to play any role vis-à-vis Kashmir or Palestine,” Mirwaiz said.
Mirwaiz said that delay in resolution of issues like Kashmir and Palestine is impacting the relevance of the world body. “The OIC will lose importance if it continues to fail to serve its purpose,” he said.
Hurriyat (G) is also sore over Saudi Arab’s recent move to accord its highest civilian honour—King Abdulaziz sash—to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. “The Arab countries nowadays honour Indian prime minister. They have their economic interests. So the reasons are obvious (for ineffective support to Kashmir cause),” Hurriyat (G) spokesman Ayaz Akbar said.
He said the instability prevailing in Muslim nations due to mutual differences and issues like ISIS and Syria conflict have also made them confused and weak.
“Pakistan is doing its best to secure and safeguard the interests of Muslim nations and plead the cause of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. It is due to efforts of Pakistan that OIC somehow passes resolution on Kashmir,” Akbar said.
Chief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) Aasiya Andrabi, however, terms the OIC support as “encouraging”. “Whatever the situation, even the mere presence of OIC and its passing of resolutions morally boosts the oppressed people of Kashmir,”Andrabi said.
“We have to rise on our own like we did during 2008 and 2010 uprisings. Pakistan’s support is always praiseworthy and we are thankful to Almighty for it,” she said.