Pak may boycott OIC meet to be attended by Sushma

Pak may boycott OIC meet to be attended by Sushma

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. PTI file photo

Pakistan may boycott the inaugural plenary of the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi as United Arab Emirates (UAE) has invited India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to attend the conclave on Friday as a “guest of honour”.

The Geo News of Pakistan quoted the foreign minister of the neighbouring country, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, stating that he had spoken to UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who would host the conclave in Abu Dhabi on Friday, and conveyed his reservation over invitation to external affairs minister of India.

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India is not a member of the OIC. Pakistan, however, is a founding member of the 57-nation-bloc, which it has all along been using to to slam India, particularly on the issue of Kashmir.

Swaraj was invited by UAE Foreign Minister to attend the inaugural plenary of the OIC meet in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out the air-strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad camp at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan on Tuesday. “I have made myself clear that India has shown aggression,” Geo News quoted Qureshi saying about his conversation with the UAE's foreign minister.

“Under the current circumstances, it will not be possible for me to attend OIC meeting where Sushma Swaraj is present,” he told Geo News.

The invitation by UAE opened up an opportunity for India to present its views before the OIC foreign ministers at a time when its tension with Pakistan escalated in the wake of the recent killing of over 40 CRPF personnel at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sushma is expected to use the opportunity articulate India’s stand on terrorism as well as on the issue of Kashmir to counter the narrative spun by Pakistan.