The General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Monday expressed “deep concern” over India’s attempts to redraw the electoral boundaries of Jammu and Kashmir, altering the “demographic structure of the territory and violating the rights of the Kashmiri people”.
In a statement shared on Twitter, the OIC said the delimitation exercises were in direct contravention of the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention.
“Referring to the long-standing and principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and relevant decisions of the Islamic Summit and OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, the General Secretariat reiterates its solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their just quest for the right of self-determination, in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions,” the statement said.
The OIC also called on the international community, particularly the UNSC, to take immediate cognizance of the “grave implications of such ‘delimitation’ exercises”.
Earlier this month, New Delhi issued a new list of redrawn political constituencies for JK, giving greater representation to the Muslim-majority region’s Hindu areas and paving the way for fresh elections.
The Indian government said a delimitation commission had finalised 90 assembly constituencies for JK, excluding Ladakh, with 43 seats for Jammu and 47 for Kashmir. Earlier, Jammu had 37 seats and the Kashmir valley had 46.
The delimitation commission claimed it had been difficult to accommodate competing claims from various sides, citing in a statement the region’s “peculiar geo-cultural landscape”.
The statement from the OIC also comes days after the organisation’s Independent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) issued a strong condemnation against the delimitation exercise. The OIC’s human rights body termed India’s move a violation of international human rights and humanitarian laws.
Meanwhile, India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We are dismayed that the OIC secretariat has once again made unwarranted comments on the internal affairs of India,”
“As in the past, the Government of India categorically rejects the assertions made by the OIC secretariat on the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral and inalienable part of India,” he said.
Bagchi was responding to media queries on the OIC statement on the delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The OIC should refrain from carrying out its communal agenda vis-a-vis India at the behest of one country,” Bagchi said.
The delimitation commission, tasked with redrawing parliamentary and assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, notified its final report earlier this month.