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Islamabad apprises OIC of reservation over invite to India

February 28, 2019

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Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's letter letter invites OIC’s attention towards the deteriorating security situation in the region after violation of the Line of Control (LoC) by India. — FO
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's letter letter invites OIC’s attention towards the deteriorating security situation in the region after violation of the Line of Control (LoC) by India. — FO

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan officially conveyed to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday that it may have to boycott the upcoming OIC’s foreign ministers conclave if the invitation extended to the Indian external affairs minister to be guest of honour at its inaugural session is not withdrawn.

In a letter written to OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan had asked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to withdraw the invitation to Indian external affairs minister or else it would be compelled to reconsider its decision to attend the meet.

Mr Qureshi’s letter invites OIC’s attention towards the deteriorating security situation in the region after violation of the Line of Control (LoC) by India. He said Indian planes intruded Pakistani airspace from Muzaffarabad sector of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and were forced to fly back by the Pakistan Air Force.

FM Qureshi tells OIC that Pakistan may have to boycott Abu Dhabi meet if invitation is not withdrawn; Senate chairman writes to member states about Indian aggression

The foreign minister said the intrusion by India was not only violation of international laws but was an aggression that provided Pakistan the right to act in self-defence.

New Delhi had deliberately demonstrated war hysteria for mere political objectives, as elections were due in India within the next few months, he said, adding that the people of India-held Kashmir were facing oppression. The latest Indian aggression was a threat to the regional peace, he said.

Talk with Turkish FM

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu during his conversation with FM Qureshi has categorically announced it will stand by Pakistan and its people in the pace of Indian aggression, Radio Pakistan reported.

Sharing details of his phonic conversation, Mr Qureshi in an interview said the Turkish minister declared to oppose if the Indian external affairs minister was given an opportunity to speak at the upcoming OIC meeting in Abu Dhabi.

Earlier, Senate chairman Mohammad Sadiq Sanjrani urged all members of the OIC to play their role in withdrawal of the invitation extended to Indian minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj for the OIC meeting, which will be held in Abu Dhabi on March 1 and 2.

In separate letters addressed to the heads of parliaments of the OIC member countries, the Senate chairman said the invitation raised genuine apprehensions and critical voices among the people of Pakistan and their elected representatives.

The Senate chairman mentioned with satisfaction that brotherly Islamic countries and the OIC had raised serious concern over human rights violations in India-held Kashmir. He said the plight of Muslim brothers of India-occupied Kashmir could not escape our attention and consideration. “You would share concern over grave human rights violations and state terrorism in IOK at the hands of Indian security forces for well over 70 years now,” he wrote.

He stated thousands of innocent Muslim Kashmiris including elderly, women and children had been killed, countless youths abducted and an even higher number of civilians incapacitated by brutal use of force like pellet guns. He stated Indian continued its occupation of the disputed territory by denying the Kashmiris their right to self-determination under the UNSC resolutions.

He reiterated that Pakistan would continue to provide diplomatic, moral and political support to the Kashmiris in their just struggle for freedom. He said the people, government and parliament of Pakistan were highly appreciated of the historic and continuing support of the OIC for the people of India-held Kashmir.

He expressed the hope that OIC members would use their influence in withdrawal of the invitation extended to the Indian foreign minister.

The letter was written after members of both houses slammed the OIC for inviting Indian minister to attend the upcoming OIC foreign ministers’ conclave.

In Senate, the words of praise for OIC had been dropped from a resolution on Kashmir for its controversial decision to invite the Indian minister.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2019