In the middle of the government’s J&K outreach, India’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ausaf Sayeed met the OIC Secretary General, Yusef Al Othaimeen, earlier this week. In the “courtesy” meeting, the secretary general is said to have asked about the possibility of a meeting between Pakistan and India, stating that the General Secretariat in Jeddah stood ready to assist “if the two parties would so request”.
The rare meeting is significant as OIC has repeatedly criticised India’s decision to reorganize the erstwhile state of J&K and India, in response, has maintained that the Islamic body has no locus standi in matters strictly internal to India, including that of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. India has also accused OIC of allowing itself to be used for propaganda by Pakistan.
The Indian ambassador is said to have again reminded OIC secretary general in the meeting that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India. An official Indian reaction is expected later.
OIC said in a statement that the Secretary General welcomed Sayeed and reviewed with him a number of issues “concerning the situation of Muslims in India, along with the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and relevant UN and OIC resolutions opposing any unilateral actions on the issue”.
He apparently also conveyed to the Indian ambassador the “desire” of the OIC General secretariat to dispatch a delegation to the “disputed territory” in line with relevant resolutions of the OIC Council of foreign ministers.
Pakistan was quick to claim Wednesday that OIC had underscored the organisation’s principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and expressed appreciation for the organisation’s “consistent and longstanding support” on the issue.
Islamabad also claimed that this was the first time that the principled position of the 57 OIC-member states has been duly conveyed to India.
However, while OIC has repeatedly called upon India to rescind its actions in Jammu and Kashmir, India continues to remind the organisation that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and that it must refrain from talking about the situation there.
Th government last year described as regrettable that OIC continued 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. ( TOI )