ISLAMABAD: It was time for Pakistan to withdraw from the Islamic Cooperation Organization (ICO), as it was worse than the United Nations, former Senate President Mian Raza Rabbani said Friday.
Participating in a discussion about Kashmir in the Senate, he said that "the bubble of an Islamic Ummah had burst" and that Pakistan should reassess its relationship with the Ummah.
Recalling that the OCI had not acted when Pakistan or any other Muslim country faced a difficult situation, he referred to the 1990 genocide in Bosnia and ethnic cleansing in Palestine. "The world has been too profit-oriented and focused on economic interests."
He cited as examples a $ 15 billion agreement recently signed between Aramco, the Saudi-owned oil giant, and the largest conglomerate in India, Reliance, which awards the highest civilian prize in the UAE to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and signing memoranda of understanding during the first visit to Bahrain by an Indian prime minister last week to take home the point that Muslim countries were too busy dealing with their own affairs to worry about issues like Kashmir.
Rabbani said that parliament needed to inform all human rights organizations about the uninterrupted curfew and the state of human rights in Kashmir occupied by India.
Shibli Faraz tells the Senate that there are no political prisoners in the country
"Pakistan must file an emergency motion at the general assembly of the Interparliamentary Union in October and raise the violation of human rights at the IPU meeting in Maldives next month," Mr. Rabbani suggested. He said parliament should try to convene special meetings of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Asian Parliamentary Association to raise awareness about the issue of Kashmir.
"Parliament must prepare a list of all international treaties and conventions signed by India and inform the world how it is violating them today in Kashmir," he added.
The former Senate president said Pakistan should ask the UN Human Rights Commission to convene a meeting on the matter and urge the world body to send observers to Kashmir. "Now we should focus on Asia and end our alignment with Washington."
In his speech, Senator Rehman Malik said that crimes against humanity committed by Indian forces made Narendra Modi susceptible to trial before the International Criminal Court. "I have already prepared a petition to present to the ICC."
He said that the revocation of articles 370 and 35-A by the Indian parliament was a violation of UN resolutions. "It is unfortunate that the UN has not implemented its own resolutions on Kashmir," said the senator.
Mushahid Hussain Sayed, from PML-N, stressed the need for a three-pronged strategy to meet the challenge posed by the irresponsible actions of India since, ironically, the New Delhi draconian measures also offered an opportunity. "India's claim to be a democratic and secular state is now exposed. I have read 30 articles on the subject, 27 of which were against India," Senator Mushahid added.
He suggested that the strategy with respect to India should now be "specific to Modi and expose it as fascist and racist."
Mushahid Hussain noted that the nation must maintain its own home to ensure that the international community takes its position on the main problems seriously. "It is unthinkable that, on the one hand, we have confusion, instability, repression and division in the country and, on the other, we have an effective foreign policy. We need a healing touch at home first."
The senator called for the immediate release of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, former President Asif Ali Zardari and two legislators belonging to the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement. All "political prisoners" should also be released, he added.
Senate House leader Shibli Faraz, while responding to Mushahid Hussain's comments, said there were no political prisoners in the country. He pointed out that all the parts were on a page on the topic of Kashmir. He asked the president to send the summary of the procedures and proposals made by the members to the prime minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The upper house unanimously passed a resolution condemning the annexation of Kashmir occupied by India, describing it as a BJP-RSS movement to change the demography of the region in support of its racist and fascist agenda. The resolution, proposed by Shibli Faraz, said the annexation was an attempt to undermine the UN Charter, international law and the resolutions of the UN Security Council.
Published on Dawn, August 31, 2019