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India snubs Islamic groups' comments on Kashmir

IANS
Aug 15, 2008 at 01:29am IST

New Delhi: India on Thursday rebuffed the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) for its comments on the violence in Jammu and Kashmir and asked it not to meddle in the country's internal affairs.

"We note with regret the statement made by the OIC Secretary General on the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna told reporters.

"OIC has once again chosen to comment upon Jammu and Kashmir and India's internal affairs on which it has no locus standi. We reject such comments," he added.

INDIA WARNS ISLAMIC GROUPS: Rejecting OIC's Secretary General's comments on Kashmir, Navtej Sarna said that India does not allow any interference in its internal affairs.

The OIC, an international organisation that brings together 57 states, professes to speak for the interests of Muslims in the world.

OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on Thursday strongly condemned "the ongoing excessive and unwarranted use of force against the Kashmiri people".

It also urged the Indian government to end the violence in the interest of sustaining the India-Pakistan peace process, central to which is a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute.

He called for steps on the part of international humanitarian and human rights organisations, including the UN Human Rights Council, to address the situation in a manner that would prevent human rights violations in the Indian Kashmir.

The OIC's comments come close on the heels of Pakistan's assertion that it will approach the UN and other global bodies on the Kashmir issue.

The critical comments of the OIC on alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, in the course of the nearly two-month-old agitation sparked by a row over the transfer of land to a Hindu shrine, echoes that of Pakistan.

In the past, the OIC had routinely pressed for a resolution of the Kashmir issue and called for asserting the aspirations of the people of Kashmir - which were invariably rejected with equal vehemence by India.

India has strongly rebuffed Pakistan's attempt to internationalise the Kashmir issue by approaching the UN and other international bodies like the OIC.

India also strongly reacted to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's remarks on the violence in Jammu and Kashmir and warned Islamabad not to interfere in its internal affairs.

New Delhi warned Islamabad to desist from such a course of action that is "gratuitous and illegal" and has the potential to harm the peace process between the two countries.

"To call for international involvement in the sovereign internal affairs of India is gratuitous, illegal and only reflects reversion to a mindset that has led to no good consequences for Pakistan in the past," Sarna said in a statement.

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