India on Thursday rejected the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) recent comments on human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it has no right to comment on the country’s internal affairs.
“Our position is consistent on this matter and has no ambiguity. OIC has no locus standi in matters strictly internal to India, including that of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” said Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
“We have in the past also reiterated that OIC should refrain from making unwarranted references on India.”
New Delhi’s response comes after the human rights body of the OIC on Tuesday called for an end to “gross and systematic human rights violations” in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission urged the OIC to compel India to abandon efforts to alter the disputed region’s “geographic and demographic status,” allow fact-finding missions of the OIC and the UN, and “let Kashmiris exercise their legitimate right to self-determination.”
Concerns over demographic changes in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir have persisted since New Delhi scrapped the region’s autonomous political status last August and allowed outsiders to buy land and apply for government jobs in the disputed territory.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, Pakistan and India have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965, and 1971 – two of them over Kashmir.
Also, in the Siachen Glacier region in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984, with a cease-fire enforced in 2003.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights groups, thousands have been killed in the conflict since 1989.
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