India rejects Chinese FM's remarks on occupied Kashmir at OIC moot

Published March 24, 2022
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) moot on March 22. — APP/File
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) moot on March 22. — APP/File

India has rejected Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's remarks on occupied Kashmir during the recent Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Islamabad, terming it an "uncalled [for] reference".

According to a report by NDTV, spokesperson for India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Arindam Bagchi, while talking to reporters on Wednesday, called the Kashmir issue an "internal matter", saying that other countries, including China, had "no locus standi" to comment on it.

The two-day meeting of OIC's Council of Foreign Ministers ended on Wednesday with affirmation of support for Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir disputes.

Forty-six countries participated in the moot at the ministerial level, while the other countries were represented by senior officials. Nearly 800 delegates attended the meeting hosted by Islamabad. The Chinese foreign minister was the special guest at the conference. It was the first time in OIC's history that a Chinese foreign minister attended its foreign ministers' meeting, indicating Beijing's expanding role in the Muslim world.

According to the NDTV report, Wang had made a reference to occupied Kashmir in his opening speech at the OIC moot, saying: "On Kashmir, we have heard again today the calls of many of our Islamic friends. And China shares the same hope."

Reacting to the statement on Wednesday, Bagchi said: "Matters related to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are entirely the internal affairs of India. Other countries including China have no locus standi to comment. They should note that India refrains from public judgement of their internal issues."

Chinese FM's expected trip to India

This rebuttal from the Indian side came at a time when the Chinese foreign minister is expected to make a surprise stop for talks in New Delhi on Friday, an Indian official told Reuters, though neither side has formally announced what would be the highest-level visit since border clashes soured relations two years ago.

Yi is set to also visit Nepal on Friday, as part of a tour of South Asia.

The Indian government source, who requested anonymity, said Yi was expected to meet with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, and while the agenda was unclear, discussions over the Ukraine conflict were expected.

India's foreign ministry declined to comment. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said at a daily news briefing on Wednesday that he had no information to offer at the moment.

Relations between China and Indian became fraught in June 2020, when 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed during a high-altitude clash in a disputed section of the western Himalayas.

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