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Ties with India linked to settling K-issue: OIC

The OIC has said positive relations between the OIC and India could not be achieved as long as there were tensions between Pakistan and India.

india Updated: May 08, 2006 18:31 IST

With some Gulf countries suggesting that India be given observer status in the OIC, the Islamic countries' grouping has linked this to the "just" settlement of the Kashmir issue.

A report on political issues by the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said, "positive relations between the OIC and India could not be achieved as long as there were tensions between Pakistan and India and without a just solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with international legality."

The report was presented at the preparatory meeting of the 33rd Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers of the 57-member grouping in Jeddah on Saturday.

According to sources, some Gulf countries have suggested that India, which has the second largest population of Muslims after Indonesia, and has an influential voice in the international arena, should be given observer status in Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia had suggested Pakistan should sponsor India's name for observer status in the OIC. However, Pakistan gave cold response to the suggestion.

In his remarks, Ihsanoglu said "we (OIC) have also welcomed the defusing of tension in relations between Pakistan and India and the confidence building measures initiated between these two countries, hoping that this process will impact positively on the resolution of this chronic issue."

A statement issued by Pakistan's Foreign Ministry yesterday said the OIC meeting expressed support for the Indo-Pakistan peace process and hoped the dialogue would lead to the final settlement of all outstanding issues for peaceful, stable and prosperous environment in South Asia.

First Published: May 08, 2006 18:31 IST