Pakistan’s Foreign Minister is upset after OIC negated summoning a meeting on Kashmir

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Harsirat Kaur
Harsirat Kaur
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Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, requested to call a meeting of foreign ministers’ on Kashmir. However, the Organization of International Cooperation has not acceded to these requests. This upset Islamabad, and it threatened to call a separate gathering on the issue. OIC is the second-largest intergovernmental body after the United Nations. It has 57 members.

Pakistan has been requesting a special meeting on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir since last August. Last year, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked the special status that India held on Jammu and Kashmir, making it an Indian Union Territory. Despite repeated requests since last year, OIC has shown reluctance to summon such a conference.

OIC meeting on J&K issue
Source: Anadolu Agency

Why is OIC not giving Pakistan what it wants?

Organization of International Cooperation is an international organization founded in 1969. It consists of 57 member states, with 53 countries being Muslim-majority countries. It has its headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

A significant reason behind OIC’s reluctance and dodge has been Saudi Arabia’s reluctance. If Riyadh does not support anything that OIC wants, the organization cannot do anything arbitrarily. The organization needs its support to maintain its strong ties in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

Repercussions of OIC’s reluctance

Pakistan’s Finance Minister did not take the repeated negation from OIC positively. He said on a talk show on ARY News on Wednesday, “I am once again respectfully telling OIC that a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers is our expectation.”

Qureshi added that he would have to take the matters of upper jurisdiction into his own hands. He said, “If you cannot convene it, then I’ll ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir.”

He wants OIC to stop “dilly-dallying” on the convening of the proposed meeting.

On June 22, a virtual meeting of the OIC Contact Group was held. In the meeting as well, FM Qureshi ensured to keep his point upfront. He urged the members to “step up their efforts” to resolve the Kashmir issue. He said that Pakistan skipped the Kuala Lumpur Summit in December last year on Saudi Arabia’s request so, Pakistani Muslims want Riyadh to “show leadership on the issue.”

Who backs Pakistan’s Foreign Minister?

Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Thursday defended the remarks by Qureshi by explaining that his statements were representing people’s aspirations and expectations of raising the Kashmir issue internationally. Its spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said, “In this regard, our efforts will continue.”

She said that Pakistan was one of the founding members of OIC, and its request should be convened by the organization when it needs it.

However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) opposed the FM’s statements. Its president Shahbaz Sharif said that the remarks were undiplomatic against brotherly country Saudi Arabia.

PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif at the parliamentary party meeting speaking against the statements by Qureshi
PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif speaking at the parliamentary party meeting at the Parliament House on Thursday. Source: White Star

 

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