No support for Pakistan at OIC for Kashmir issue

NEW DELHI: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is the de-facto grouping of almost all Islamic countries in the world, has refused to convene a meeting of their foreign ministers on the Kashmir issue. Pakistan was banking on this meeting to ‘internationalize’ the Kashmir issue.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, had said this week that Pakistan could convene a meeting of Islamic countries for discussing the Kashmir issue amongst those countries that supported it.

“If you cannot convene it, then I’ll be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir,” he said.

Even when Article 370 was nullified last year and ever since Pakistan has time and again raised the Kashmir issue at every world forum but has found little resonance from the international community. This year, with everyone busy dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the fallout of the US-China trade war, hardly anyone is interested to support Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. Only Turkey and to some extent, Malaysia have openly endorsed Pakistan’s view of the Kashmir issue.

As far as the OIC is concerned, Saudi Arabia, the dominant country in this forum, is reluctant to endorse Pakistan’s view. However, the OIC did hold a virtual meeting of its contact group for Jammu and Kashmir on the request of Pakistan in June. Then, Pakistani foreign minister Qureshi urged the OIC to ‘step up its efforts’ to resolve the Kashmir issue.