OIC again slams India after snubbing Pak to host Sushma

OIC again slams India after snubbing Pak to host Sushma

"As regards the resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, our stand is consistent and well known. We reaffirm that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India," Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar said. (PTI File Photo)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Saturday returned to the usual practice of condemning New Delhi, a day after the bloc brushed aside protests by its founding member Pakistan for hosting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as a “Guest of Honour” in its conclave in Abu Dhabi.

The 46th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC concluded in Abu Dhabi with the bloc adopting several resolutions moved by Pakistan, including one slamming India for human rights violation in Kashmir and another expressing concern over air-strikes by India on terror camps inside Pakistan on Tuesday.

Islamabad could not get any critical reference to New Delhi incorporated in the main outcome document of the OIC meet – the “Abu Dhabi Declaration”, which however lauded Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, for releasing captured Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as “a gesture of goodwill to de-escalate tensions in the region”.

India was quick to respond to the OIC resolution on the issue of Kashmir. The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi reaffirmed that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and issues related to it were internal affairs of India.

New Delhi, however, this time refrained from questioning the locus standi of the OIC – unlike almost all its past statements rejecting the resolution of the bloc on issues related to Kashmir.

India, unlike Pakistan, is not a member of the OIC, which calls itself the “collective voice” of 1.8 billion Muslims of the world. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was invited by her United Arab Emirates counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who hosted the OIC Foreign Ministers' meet in Abu Dhabi, to address the inaugural plenary of the conclave as the “Guest of Honour”. The invitation was seen as a major diplomatic success for New Delhi as Pakistan always used the OIC as a forum to slam India on the issue of Kashmir, particularly on the alleged violation of human rights by security forces in Kashmir.

Islamabad asked Abu Dhabi to review the invitation sent to External Affairs Minister of India as tensions between the two South Asian neighbours were escalated by India's air-strike on a terror camp inside Pakistan on Tuesday and retaliatory intrusion by Pakistan Air Force fighter jets into Indian airspace on Wednesday.

The UAE, however, paid no heed to the request from Pakistan. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, boycotted the OIC meet to protest the invitation to his Indian counterpart.

Swaraj did address the Foreign Ministers of the OIC member nations on Friday, reaching out to the members of the bloc and nudging them to step up pressure on Pakistan to stop supporting terrorist organizations. She noted that India was home to about 185 million Muslims. She also stressed the fight against terrorism was not against any religion.

But two of the resolutions adopted by the OIC at the behest of Pakistan on Saturday went against India. “(The) OIC member states reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir remains the core dispute between Pakistan and India and its resolution is indispensable for the dream for peace in South Asia,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan issued a statement quoting from the OIC resolutions, which also expressed “deep concern” over the atrocities and human rights violations in “Indian-occupied Kashmir”.

New Delhi on Saturday reiterated that it deeply appreciated the historic gesture by the UAE Foreign Minister to invite his counterpart in India on the 50th anniversary of the OIC.

“As regards the resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, our stand is consistent and well known. We reaffirm that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said in a statement in New Delhi.