The Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), a grouping of 57 Islamic countries, has appointed a special envoy on Jammu and Kashmir, a move seen as part of Pakistan’s efforts to internationalise the issue.
The OIC made the announcement after a meeting of its Contact Group on Kashmir at the United Nations headquarters.
The appointment of Abdullah Bin Adbul Rahman Al Bakr, a Saudi national, as the special OIC envoy on Jammu and Kashmir was welcomed by Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who also held a series of meetings with the leaders of the Muslim countries raising the issue of alleged violations of human rights in Kashmir.
The Mirwaiz said the appointment would help resolve the Kashmir issue according to the “aspirations” of the Kashmiri people.
The Contact Group on Kashmir was addressed by Foreign Ministers of Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Niger.
The Mirwaiz, Pakistan occupied Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Yaqoob and Ghulam Nabi Fai, head of the Washington-based separatist Kashmir American Council, also addressed the meeting.
Now that Pakistan and separatist leaders have succeeded in having an OIC special envoy on Kashmir, they have started lobbying before the U.N. and its Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for appointment of a special U.N. envoy on Kashmir.
“We believe that an appointment of a special envoy on Kashmir by the U.N. will go a long way to hasten the process of peace and prosperity in the region of South Asia,” Mr. Fai said.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi have raised the issue of Kashmir with world leaders during their meetings on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session.