Context:

Recently, the Ministry of External Affairs rejected the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) proposal to assist a dialogue between India and Pakistan.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (India’s Neighbors, Foreign Policies, International Groupings and Organizations)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
  2. India and OIC
  3. About the recent stand taken by OIC on Pakistan

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

  • The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is an international organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states, with a collective population of over 1.8 billion as of 2015 with 53 countries being Muslim-majority countries.
  • The organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”.
  • The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
  • Some members, especially in West Africa and South America, are – though with large Muslim populations – not necessarily Muslim majority countries.
  • A few countries with significant Muslim populations, such as Russia and Thailand, sit as Observer States.

India and OIC

  • The OIC has been generally supportive of Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir, and has issued statements criticising the alleged Indian “atrocities” in the state/Union Territory.
  • In 2018, the OIC General Secretariat had “expressed strong condemnation of the killing of innocent Kashmiris by Indian forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir”.
  • OIC has criticised the Government of India over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, and the Babri Masjid verdict of the Supreme Court. OIC has also criticised the Indian government for what it called “growing Islamophobia” in India.
  • In 2019, India made its maiden appearance at the OIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting, as a “guest of honour” and this first-time invitation was seen as a diplomatic victory for India, especially at a time of heightened tensions with Pakistan following the Pulwama attack.
  • At the 45th session of the Foreign Ministers’ Summit in 2018, Bangladesh, the host, suggested that India, where more than 10% of the world’s Muslims live, should be given Observer status, but Pakistan opposed the proposal.
  • India has always maintained that OIC has no locus standi in matters strictly internal to India including that of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir which is an integral and inalienable part of India.

About the recent stand taken by OIC on Pakistan

  • The OIC offered to arrange a meeting between India and Pakistan and proposed to send a delegation to Jammu & Kashmir in line with resolutions of the OIC council of foreign ministers.
  • Pakistan has repeatedly sought to raise the Kashmir issue at the OIC against the backdrop of India’s dramatically improved relations with several key players in West Asia and in the Islamic organisation, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
  • The OIC should be watchful that their platform is not subverted by “vested interests” such as Pakistan to interfere in internal affairs of India or for anti-India propaganda through biased and one-sided resolutions.

-Source: The Hindu

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