‘Unwarranted’: India rejects Pak-sponsored references to Kashmir issue in OIC resolutions
The Kashmir issue wasn’t on the official agenda for the meeting of the OIC’s council of foreign ministers (CFM) held in Niger during November 27-28.
India on Sunday rejected references to the country and the Kashmir issue in resolutions adopted at a meeting of foreign ministers of member states of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), describing them as “factually incorrect, gratuitous and unwarranted”.
As first reported by Hindustan Times, the Kashmir issue wasn’t on the official agenda for the meeting of the OIC’s council of foreign ministers (CFM) held in Niger during November 27-28.
Pakistan proposed a resolution on the Kashmir issue to compensate for OIC’s decision not to include the matter in the agenda, and this referred to matters such as the scrapping of the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and alleged human rights abuses in the region.
“We strongly and categorically reject the factually incorrect, gratuitous and unwarranted references to India in resolutions adopted by the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) at the 47th CFM session in Niamey, Republic of Niger, held on November 27-28, 2020,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
“We have always maintained that OIC has no locus standi in matters strictly internal to India, including that of union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India,” the statement said.
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“It is regrettable that OIC continues to allow itself to be used by a certain country, which has an abominable record on religious tolerance, radicalism and persecution of minorities, to indulge in anti-India propaganda. We strongly advise the OIC to refrain from making such references in future,” the statement added, in a reference to Pakistan.
The Niamey Declaration issued at the conclusion of the OIC meeting also included a reference to the Kashmir issue that people familiar with developments said was included due to the insistence of Pakistan. The declaration reiterated “OIC’s principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute for a peaceful settlement in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions”.
The people cited above said New Delhi wasn’t surprised that the OIC documents contained customary references to Jammu and Kashmir but made it clear it was significant that the Kashmir issue wasn’t discussed as a separate agenda item at the meeting of the council of foreign ministers despite the pressure mounted by Pakistan.
These developments come at a time when Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), both key players in the 56-member OIC, are strained.
Saudi Arabia has sought the early repayment of a $3-billion loan provided to the Imran Khan government in 2018 after it was irked by Islamabad’s efforts to forge a new grouping of Islamic countries along with Turkey and Malaysia. The UAE last week temporarily suspended issuing visas to citizens of Pakistan over security concerns. Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi raised this matter with his UAE counterpart during the OIC meet in Niger but didn’t get any positive response.