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New Delhi accuses OIC of indulging in anti-India propaganda

Indian government issues strong rebuke of Organisation of Islamic Conference following resolutions passed on Kashmir during annual meeting in Niger
The OIC is the world's second-largest inter-governmental organisation after the UN, with 57 member states.
The OIC is the world's second-largest inter-governmental organisation after the UN, with 57 member states (AFP/File photo)

The Indian government has issued a strong rebuke of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) after it purportedly passed a resolution calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rescind his government's decision to end Kashmir's semi-autonomous status during its annual meeting held in Niger over the weekend.

India's statement follows a series of tweets by Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan's foreign minister, in which he detailed the OIC's resolution urging India to halt its programme of demographic change in Indian-controlled Kashmir following the August 2019 revocation of Article 370, which granted the region a certain level of autonomy, including its own flag, constitution and the right to make laws.

“We strongly and categorically reject the factually incorrect, gratuitous and unwarranted references to India in resolutions adopted by the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) at the 47th CFM Session held in Niamey, the Republic of Niger, on 27-28 November 2020,” India's Ministry of External Affairs said on Sunday.

'Anti-India propaganda'

“It is regrettable that OIC continues to allow itself to be used by a certain country, which has an abominable record on religious tolerance, radicalism and persecution of minorities, to indulge in anti-India propaganda. We strongly advise the OIC to refrain from making such references in future. 

“We have always maintained that OIC has no locus standi in matters strictly internal to India, including that of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India," the statement added.

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Although the OIC passes resolutions on Kashmir every year and has condemned human rights violations there, observers noted the region's absence from the pre-conference agenda this year.

Over the past month, pressure has been building on Pakistan from both Saudi Arabia and the United States to recognise Israel. Observers speculated that the snub by the OIC was related to Prime Minister Imran Khan's refusal to normalise relations with Tel Aviv.

Khan has repeatedly said that there had to be a "homeland for Palestinians before Pakistan can recognise Israel".

According to DAWN News, the Pakistani government has been calling for a special meeting of the OIC foreign ministers regarding Kashmir since August 2019. 

"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 Pakistani daily wrote.

Despite India issuing a stern rebuke of the OIC resolutions as narrated by Pakistan's foreign minister, the OIC itself has yet to issue any statement confirming or denying the said resolutions.

The OIC is the world's second-largest inter-governmental organisation after the UN, with 57 member states spread across four continents. It was established in 1969.