Kashmir not on agenda of OIC foreign ministers’ meeting

Published November 26, 2020
In this file photo, paramilitary personnel stop Kashmiri commuters in Srinagar during a clampdown. — AFP
In this file photo, paramilitary personnel stop Kashmiri commuters in Srinagar during a clampdown. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Kashmir dispute has not been included in the agenda of the two-day meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) being held in Niger’s capital Niamey from Friday.

The OIC statements, both in English and Arabic, made no specific mention of Kashmir in the agenda announced in Riyadh.

OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen was quoted in the official statement as having said that the meeting would discuss the Palestinian cause, the fight against violence, extremism and terrorism, Islamophobia and defamation of religion, the situation of Muslim minorities and communities in non-member states, fundraising for the Rohingya case at the International Court of Justice, as well as the promotion of dialogue among civilisations, cultures and religions, and other emerging matters.

The agenda of the Niamey meeting also includes discussion on the political, humanitarian, economic, social and cultural and other issues related to science and technology, the media and the progress made in the implementation of the “OIC-2025: Plan of Action” document. It would, moreover, feature a brainstorming session on “Security and Humanitarian Challenges Confronting African Sahel States Members of the OIC”.

Pakistan’s request for a meeting of the contact group on the issue also declined

Pakistan has since the annexation of occupied Kashmir by India been demanding a special meeting of the OIC foreign ministers on the dispute. The meeting has not been convened so far because the Saudis, who wield a virtual veto in the 57-member bloc of Muslim countries, has not supported Islamabad’s move.

The latest omission of Kashmir from the agenda of the regular foreign ministers’ meeting comes at a time when ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia/UAE remain strained over what Pakistani diplomats say are “unfulfilled expectations”.

A diplomatic source separately said that this time OIC Contact Group on Kashmir would not meet either. The hosts declined a Pakistani request for a meeting on the pretext of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi left Islamabad on Wednesday for participating in the OIC meeting.

The Foreign Office said Mr Qureshi would highlight the aggravating human rights situation in occupied Kashmir after last year’s annexation and introduction of measures to change the demographic structure of the Muslim-majority and disputed region.

Iftikhar A. Khan adds: The foreign minister, meanwhile, wrote a letter to the president of the United Nations Security Council and the secretary general, urging the Security Council to exercise its direct responsibility to prevent India from perpetrating its criminal colonial project to change the demographic structure of the disputed territory.

The letter also calls for securing the implementation of the UN resolutions which recognise Kashmiris’ legitimate right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2020

Opinion

State Bank’s bluff
Updated 28 Jan 2021

State Bank’s bluff

Banks are sceptical of the State Bank’s ‘forward guidance’ if their bidding behaviour in govt debt auctions is anything to go by.
Unburied conscience
Updated 28 Jan 2021

Unburied conscience

Certain events in a nation’s history (however traumatic) need to be retrieved from the cupboard of memory.
A jab in time
27 Jan 2021

A jab in time

Vaccines are evidently not an instant panacea.

Editorial

28 Jan 2021

Streamlining madressahs

SUCCESSIVE governments over the decades have grappled with the challenge of regulating the tens of thousands of...
Updated 28 Jan 2021

Farmers’ protest

It is possible that an unyielding Modi has painted himself into a corner in a politically crucial election year.
28 Jan 2021

A broader investigation

THE Broadsheet controversy may be poised to open up a Pandora’s Box. Reportedly, the government is planning to...
Updated 27 Jan 2021

Pemra’s powers

The right to freedom of expression has been curtailed to such an extent that it invites comparisons with martial law times.
27 Jan 2021

Increasing debt

THE numbers released by the State Bank regarding the government’s domestic debt stock and servicing at the end of...
27 Jan 2021

Women in conflict

“WHEN the guns fall silent, it does not mean the suffering of women and girls stops. The suffering and abuse that...