NEW YORK: The Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah has said that the Kashmir issue constitutes one of the pressing challenges facing the security and stability of the region, warning that leaving the issue unresolved will contribute to regional instability, The Express Tribune reported.
While addressing a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Kashmir on the sidelines the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prince Faisal stressed that Saudi Arabia stood by the “Muslims in maintaining their Islamic identity and preserving their dignity”.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, Faisal told the meeting that the kingdom was “exerting unremitting effort to mediate between the parties of the conflict … to reduce escalation and achieve calm and a peaceful settlement to the issue in accordance with the relevant international resolutions”.
Prince Faisal reiterated Saudi Arabia’s support for the afflicted people in areas witnessing conflicts and unrest, including the people of the Jammu and Kashmir region.
“Such efforts emanate from the kingdom’s unwavering stance in support of Islamic peoples,” he added.
The OIC Contact Group said in a statement that during the ministerial-level meeting on Wednesday, the international community was urged to “intensify its efforts to settle the issue of Jammu and Kashmir” based on relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
At the meeting chaired by the OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha, the Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Gilani provided an “update on the current situation in the region”.
Jalil Abbas Gilani thanked the secretary-general and the Contact Group members for their “unwavering support”.
According to the joint communiqué of the meeting, also released by the Foreign Office in Islamabad, the participants of the meeting rejected India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019 as well as the subsequent steps to undermine the internationally recognised disputed status of the IIOJK.
The group expressed serious concern over the statements by the Indian political leaders as well as military officers about their readiness to attack Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), calling such statements a serious threat to regional peace and stability.
The OIC Contact Group demanded of India to reverse all illegal and unilateral measures taken on or after August 5, 2019, stop the gross, systematic, and widespread human rights abuses in IIOJK, and halt and reverse the illegal demographic changes in the occupied territory.
It demanded release of all Kashmiri political prisoners by rescinding the trumped-up and fallacious charges against the Kashmiri leadership and the repeal of all draconian laws.