OIC snubs Pakistan; does not mention Kashmir issue in Foreign Ministers’ meeting agenda
In yet another embarrassment for Pakistan, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has decided not to include Kashmir in the agenda of foreign ministers’ meeting that is scheduled to be held in Niger.
The latest omission comes at a time when ties between Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE remain strained over what Pakistani diplomats say are “unfulfilled expectations”.
The OIC statements, both in English and Arabic, issued for November 27’s Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting in Niamey, capital of Niger, made no mention of Kashmir in the agenda announced in Riyadh, which is currently leading the grouping.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has tried to brush aside reports that the Kashmir issue was not part of a foreign ministers’ meeting, calling them “part of false Indian propaganda”.
Foreign office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri told a weekly press briefing that the Kashmir issue was a “permanent item” on the OIC agenda.
He said November 27 would be the first CFM meeting after India revoked Kashmir’s special status in August last year.
“It is expected that the session would reiterate its strong support to the Kashmir cause. Let me confirm that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute continue (s) to be amongst the longest standing items on the OIC agenda,” he said.
The spokesperson also said that OIC has been “unambiguously pronouncing itself on the issue for decades, through a succession of summit as well as CFM resolutions.”
He insisted that the OIC had spoken on the Kashmir issue multiple times and has “called for a settlement […] with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions”.
The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir has met thrice in the past 15 months, Chaudhri said, adding that a meeting of the group with foreign ministers was held in June this year.
“The final communique of that meeting called upon India to rescind its illegal actions and stop egregious human rights violations in the illegally occupied territory,” he said.
At the OIC meeting, Pakistan is being represented by foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Before leaving for Niger, Qureshi told journalists he would raise the Kashmir issue and Islamophobia at the two-day meeting.
“I will focus on the Kashmir issue and Islamophobia at the meeting. We will discuss the issues faced by the Muslim Ummah (nation) at the meeting,” he said.
The foreign minister said that on the sidelines of the meeting, he will also hold bilateral parleys with his counterparts from the Islamic countries. “The OIC members will give their positions on the international issues and efforts would be made to evolve a joint stand by the Muslim-majority countries,” he added.