Udayavni Special

Qureshi raises Kashmir issue with OIC chief


PTI, Mar 31, 2020, 8:09 AM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday held a telephonic conversation with OIC Secretary General Yousef A Al-Othaimeen during which he discussed the situation in Kashmir and the world in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Foreign Office said in a statement that exchange between the two covered the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s responses, and developments in Jammu and Kashmir.

The minister claimed that “continued restrictions on communication and movement” in Kashmir “were preventing unfettered supply of medicines and other essentials, as well as dissemination of information needed to combat the disease,” the FO said.

He also highlighted concerns regarding the possibility of spread of coronavirus among the large number of Kashmiri youth.

On Monday, 11 fresh cases of the coronavirus were reported in Jammu and Kashmr, which include three from Jammu and eight from Kashmir, taking the total number of cases in the Union Territory to 49.

Qureshi also talked about the communal violence in New Delhi in February.

The OIC is a 57-member grouping of Muslim majority nations, including Pakistan. The OIC has usually been supportive of Pakistan and often sided with Islamabad on the Kashmir issue.

Pakistan has been unsuccessfully trying to drum up international support against India for withdrawing Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 and bifurcating it into two Union territories.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was its internal matter. It also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda.

Qureshi said the pandemic posed a grave challenge to the entire humanity, including OIC member states.

The OIC, together with the Islamic Development Bank, needed to play an effective role in helping members cope with the challenges, he added.

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