India terms OIC remark on Yasin Malik's conviction 'unacceptable'
India on Friday lambasted the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for condemning the verdict in the terror funding case involving Kashmiri separatist Yasin Malik, claiming that the OIC has tacitly supported terrorist operations. According to Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, Malik's terrorist acts have been documented and presented in court, thus the OIC should not legitimize his acts.
- The OIC is the second-largest organization after the United Nations in terms of membership.
- It's an alliance of 57 Islamic countries, including India's neighbors Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
- The organization has consistently shown its support for Kashmiri separatists and has even invited them to previous gatherings.
- Notably, Pakistan already reacted sharply to Malik's sentence and summoned the Indian Charge d'Affaires to record its protest.
OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha on Friday expressed concern over the pronouncement of a life sentence to Malik. He sought the intervention of the international community and said that they should ensure "the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris for the realization of their rights must not be equated with terrorism." Taha also urged India to release all unfairly incarcerated Kashmiri leaders.
"India finds unacceptable the comments made by OIC-IPHRC today criticizing India for the judgment in the case of Yasin Malik," said Bagchi. "Through these comments, OIC-IPHRC has implicitly expressed support for the terrorist activities of Yasin Malik, which were documented and presented in the court," he said. "The world seeks zero tolerance of terrorism so OIC shouldn't justify it in any manner," he added.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court sentenced Malik to life imprisonment on Wednesday. Two life sentences and 10 years of rigorous imprisonment for 10 offenses were awarded. All sentences will run concurrently. Also, a monetary penalty of Rs. 10 lakh was levied. The court had on May 19 convicted Malik after he pleaded guilty.
Earlier on May 11, Malik had pleaded to all charges under the UAPA and IPC for criminal conspiracy, including terrorist acts, raising funds for a terrorist act, conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, and being a member of a terrorist gang or organization. Since Malik did not hire a lawyer, the court-appointed amicus curiae had confirmed that he was not contesting the charges.
The case is related to the various terror outfits, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM), Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) backed by Islamic State, perpetrating terrorist and secessionist activities to disturb the stability of Jammu and Kashmir.