In a huge diplomatic setback to India, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Saturday passed a resolution condemning ‘atrocities and human rights violations’ in Jammu and Kashmir. The resolution was passed soon after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj became the first Indian ever to attend the summit of Islamic countries.
A report by The Hindu said that the resolution adopted by the OIC on Jammu and Kashmir, and another on the ‘India-Pakistan Peace Process’ praised Pakistan for its ‘efforts, and a statement on ‘Muslim minorities’ worldwide that called upon the Indian government to rebuild the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, came as an embarrassment for the government just a day after Swaraj spoke at the summit meeting of 57 Muslim countries. The document also condemned India for causing ‘mass blindings’ in Kashmir by the use of pellet guns against civilians.
The Kashmir resolution, according to the Indian Express, had the phrase ‘Indian terrorism’ in Kashmir — the last time the resolution mentioned ‘wicked terrorist act.’
However, the final OIC declaration did not include these terms even though it praised Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for releasing Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The OIC declaration said, “We welcome the positive initiative undertaken by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to hand over the Indian pilot as a gesture of goodwill to de-escalate tensions in the region.”
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi took a potshot at India and tweeted, “The OIC resolution has endorsed Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir calling it central to regional peace and has condemned Indian terrorism in Kashmir. The OIC, recognising Pakistan’s right to self defence, denounced Indian aggression. I congratulate the nation on this success.”
Angered by an invite to India to attend the summit as a guest of honour, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had decided not to attend the event in protest. India, for its part, had termed it a major diplomatic victory for being able to sideline Pakistan in the OIC.
Interestingly, India has chosen not to reject the resolution and has only reiterated its stand on Kashmir. Neither has it taken strong exceptions to the resolution.