Time for Pakistan to pull out of OIC, says Rabbani

Published August 31, 2019
Shibli Faraz tells Senate no political prisoners in the country. — APP/File
Shibli Faraz tells Senate no political prisoners in the country. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: It was high time for Pakistan to pull out of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as it was worse than the United Nations, former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said on Friday.

Taking part in a discussion on Kashmir in the Senate, he said the “bubble of an Islamic Ummah had burst” and Pakistan should reappraise its relationship with the Ummah.

Recalling that the OIC had failed to act whenever Pakistan or any other Muslim country faced a difficult situation, he referred to the 1990s genocide in Bosnia and the ethnic cleansing in Palestine. “The world has become too profit oriented and focused on economic interests.”

He cited as examples a $15 billion deal signed recently between Aramco, the Saudi-owned oil giant, and India’s largest conglomerate Reliance, conferment of the UAE’s highest civil award on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and signing of MoUs during the first-ever visit to Bahrain by an Indian premier last week to drive home the point that Muslim countries were too busy minding their own business to bother about issues like Kashmir.

Mr Rabbani said that parliament needed to inform all human rights organisations about the uninterrupted curfew and the state of human rights in India-occupied Kashmir.

Shibli Faraz tells Senate no political prisoners in the country

“Pakistan should move an emergency motion at the general assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in October and raise violation of human rights at the IPU’s meeting in Maldives next month,” Mr Rabbani suggested. He said parliament should try to convene special meetings of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Asian Parliamentary Association to raise awareness about the Kashmir issue.

“Parliament should prepare a list of all international treaties and covenants signed by India and inform the world how it’s violating them today in Kashmir,” he added.

The former Senate chairman said Pakistan should ask the UN Commission on Human Rights to convene a meeting on the matter and call upon the world body to send observers to Kashmir. “We should now focus on Asia and end our alignment with Washington.”

In his speech, Senator Rehman Malik said crimes against humanity committed by the Indian forces made Narendra Modi liable to trial by the International Criminal Court. “I have already prepared a petition for filing with the ICC.”

He said the revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A by the Indian parliament was a violation of UN resolutions. “It is unfortunate that the UN has failed to implement its own resolutions on Kashmir,” the senator observed.

Mushahid Hussain Sayed of the PML-N underlined the need to have a three-pronged strategy to deal with the challenge posed by India’s irresponsible actions as, ironically enough, New Delhi’s draconian measures offered an opportunity as well. “India’s claim of being a democratic and secular state stands exposed now. I have read 30 articles on the issue, 27 of which were against India,” Senator Mushahid added.

He suggested that the strategy with regard to India should now be “Modi-specific and expose him as fascist and racist”.

Mushahid Hussain observed that the nation must keep its own house in order to ensure that the international community took its stance on major issue seriously. “It’s unthinkable that on one hand we have turmoil, instability, repression and division at home and, on the other, we run an effective foreign policy. We need a healing touch at home first.”

The senator called for immediate release of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, former president Asif Ali Zardari and two lawmakers belonging to the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement. All ‘political prisoners’ should be released as well, he added.

Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz, while responding to Mushahid Hussain’s remarks, said there were no political prisoners in the country. He noted that all parties were on one page on the Kashmir issue. He asked the chair to send the summary of the proceedings and proposals made by members to the prime minister and the Foreign Office.

The upper house unanimously passed a resolution condemning the annexation of occupied Kashmir by India, describing it as a BJP-RSS move to change the region’s demography in furtherance of their racist and fascist agenda. The resolution, moved by Shibli Faraz, said the annexation was an attempt to undermine the UN Charter, the international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2019

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