SRINAGAR: In a strange coincidence, the day Jammu and Kashmir issued its first domicile certificate after doing away with the traditional state subject status, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) asked Delhi to protect the demography of Jammu and Kashmir. The appeal came after the OIC Contact Group on Kashmir had a virtual meeting.
An official spokesman said the first domicile certificate was granted through online mode to Aaliya Tariq, a girl hailing from north Kashmir’s Sopore town. Lt Governor G C Murmu presided over the event that witnessed the formal launch of the online issuance of the domicile certificate.
“Aaliya, daughter of Tariq Ahmad Langoo from Sopore, Baramulla became the first recipient of domicile certificate through online mode”, the spokesman said. “The permanent resident certificate (PRC) holders and other applicants can apply for issuance of domicile certificate online by providing their Aadhaar number and receive the certificate through online mode. PRC holders will be able to receive their domicile certificate through this application without having to visit any office.”
Murmu termed the facility as a “people friendly initiative” envisaging issuance of domicile certificates within a stipulated time frame online. The system does not require physical movement of the applicant to the offices for the certificate.
Hours after the launch of the facility, a statement issued by the OIC said, among other things, that Delhi should refrain from “changing the demographic structure of the disputed territory”. The statement was issued after the OIC’s Kashmir Contact Group met virtually.
The statement issued by the group was posted on the OIC’s website. The virtual meeting was attended by Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. It was called on the request of Pakistan.
“OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef A Al-Othaimeen, inaugurated the meeting and stressed the OIC’s commitment to finding a peaceful settlement for the Jammu and Kashmir issue as per the relevant resolutions of the Islamic Summit, the Council of Foreign Ministers, and the international legitimacy,” the statement said. “At the same time, I call on the international community to strengthen its efforts to assist the people of Kashmir to decisively practice their legitimate rights denied for decades,” Al-Othaimeen was quoted saying.
The Contact Group, the statement said “reaffirmed the continued support” for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and called on the United Nations Secretary-General to use his good offices to make India “abide by the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) resolutions and engage in dialogue to calm the situation in the region”.
The Contact Group, the statement added, called on India “to halt security operations against the people of Jammu and Kashmir immediately, respect basic human rights, refrain from changing the demographic structure of the disputed territory, and settle the conflict under the relevant UNSC’s resolutions”.
“After the meeting, the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir issued a statement on the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir region in which it welcomed the efforts made by some Member States to calm the situation between India and Pakistan,” the statement concluded.
Reports appearing in media said that Pakistan urged the group to “step up its efforts” to resolve the Kashmir issue. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the virtual meeting – held “on the request of Pakistan”, has agreed to form “an observation mission” to know the situation in Kashmir.
The 57-member group touted to the second major grouping after the UN, is currently undergoing a cold war within as Saudi monarch’s are feeling threatened by a possible Turkey-Iran combo. Pakistan that was earlier close to Saudi Arabia had a serious credibility crisis after Riyadh felt Islamabad getting closer to Ankara. Right now its status between the two groupings is not known.
The statement, however, was the third consecutive statement issued by the OIC on Kashmir’s demography.