FO rejects ‘misleading’ reports about OIC virtual meeting

Published May 28, 2020
Says “a large number of ambassadors” supported Pakistani position implies that not all of them backed it. — APP/File
Says “a large number of ambassadors” supported Pakistani position implies that not all of them backed it. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Wednesday rejected as “misleading” media reporting of a virtual meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) ambassadors at New York in which the Maldives objected to singling out of India for Islamophobia and Pakistan reportedly failed in its attempt to form a group on the issue.

FO spokesperson Aisha Farooqui, according to a statement, rejected the “misleading and factually incorrect” media reports about the virtual meeting of OIC ambassadors to the United Nations on May 20.

Dawn in its edition of May 27 reported about Maldivian objection and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) disallowing formation of the group on the grounds that it was the mandate of the foreign ministers.

The FO statement recapped points from the speech of Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Munir Akram about growing incidents of Islamophobia in India and gravity of the situation. It then went on say that “a large number of OIC ambassadors” shared the concerns about the situation in India and supported the need for a coordinated OIC position on Islamophobia at the UN.

The statement’s assertion that “a large number of ambassadors” supported Pakistani position implies that not all of them backed it. Furthermore, the statement skipped Maldivian objection.

Maldivian foreign ministry in a statement on the meeting said: “Maldives cannot support any action within OIC that singles out or targets India.”

According to serving Pakistani diplomats, the OIC meeting participants with non-conforming views were traditionally brought around by “heavy weight” — a reference to Saudi Arabia and Egypt — but in this instance the Maldives persisted with its objection and there was no reach-out by any of the so-called heavyweights on the controversial remark.

The rejoinder furthermore makes no mention of Amb Akram’s call for the OIC countries to join Pakistan in a small working group for considering actions that the OIC can take at the UN to counter Islamophobia.

The UAE disallowed the move on technical grounds.

The FO, however, recalled past OIC statements “on Islamophobia and targeted violence against Muslims in India”.

“The OIC and its human rights body — OIC-IPHRC — have issued strong statements on the Indian Government’s recent anti-Muslim actions, including CAA, targeted killing of Muslims in Delhi, Babri Masjid verdict, and demonisation of Muslims in the context of Covid-19,” it recalled.

The FO maintained that besides OIC, the United Nations human rights machinery, international human rights organisations and international media had taken cognisance of the situation and expressed concerns on the plight of Muslims in India.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2020

Opinion

Story of the last tamarind leaf
Updated 22 Jun 2021

Story of the last tamarind leaf

These journalists speak for all the troubled features of India’s democracy that Mr Modi didn’t tell the G7 about.
Understanding abuse
Updated 22 Jun 2021

Understanding abuse

Condemnations have been rare while there is no debate on the prevalence of such abuse beyond the Mufti Azizur Rehman case.
The roots of hate
Updated 21 Jun 2021

The roots of hate

The reference to being ‘out-populated’ is a popular theme in modern neo-Nazi and white supremacist thought.

Editorial

Describing OBL
22 Jun 2021

Describing OBL

FM Qureshi’s non-committal reply to question about Osama being a terrorist or a martyr has sent the wrong message to the world.
22 Jun 2021

A neglected sector

THE PTI legislators joined forces with opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly the other day to take their own...
22 Jun 2021

Air safari

THE resumption of PIA’s air safari flights to Skardu will hopefully attract international and domestic tourists,...
Poll consensus
Updated 21 Jun 2021

Poll consensus

If the govt is reluctant to take part in an APC on poll reforms, then it must ensure that parliament can be used for this purpose.
21 Jun 2021

Global displacement

THE number of globally displaced persons shared by the UN’s refugee agency in a report released on Friday is...
21 Jun 2021

KP budget

THE KP budget 2021-22 is a sort of please-all document that hands out something to almost everyone in the hope of...