OIC-IPHRC strongly condemns and rejects the Indian Government’s illegal attempts to amend landowning laws in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJ&K) as violative of international human rights and humanitarian laws.
Jeddah 15th November 2020:
The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly condemns the Indian Government’s recently introduced amendments in the country’s land laws for IoJ&K titled, “Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020” which would enable not only any Indian citizen to acquire property in IoJ&K but also authorize the Indian army to declare any area as ‘strategic’ for operational, residential and training purposes. These new rules are continuum of other such ‘Hindutva’ inspired laws by the Indian Government to cause ‘demographic flooding’ of non-natives in the IoJ&K, which negates numerous OIC and UN Security Council Resolutions and violates international human rights and humanitarian laws. The new law is widely equated with the policy of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank with settlers living among disenfranchised locals.
The Commission echoed Kashmiri political leadership and general public’s unanimous rejection of these laws as “unacceptable”, “nefarious” and a blatant attempt to systematically pave the way for ‘settlement colonialism’ through forced demographic change, which would convert the indigenous Muslim population into minority within their homeland and obviate the exercise of their right to self-determination. This is a manifest violation of the human rights of the Kashmiri people guaranteed under well codified international human rights treaties including Articles 27 and 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which clearly declare any illicit transfer of population in conflict zones or disputed territory as illegal. It will not only change the demographics of the occupied area and resultant disenfranchisement but will further complicate the dispute which has already claimed thousands of innocent lives of Kashmiri Muslims, the Commission added.
The Commission, while rejecting these measures as illegal, reiterates to the UN and the international community to play their due role to pressurize India to: a) abide by the relevant UN Security Council and OIC resolutions to refrain from any administrative and legislative actions, which tantamount to altering the geographic and demographic status of the IoJ&K; b) restore all fundamental freedoms of Kashmiris; repeal its discriminatory laws; and c) allow people of Kashmir to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination through a free and fair plebiscite as provided in the relevant UN and OIC resolutions.