Three months after New Delhi had toned down its criticism of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) reference to Jammu and Kashmir, India on Monday raised the decibel and rejected the OIC’s reference to Kashmir as “unacceptable” and said that the grouping has “no locus standi”.
This is a turnaround from the March 2 statement earlier this year when India had merely said that Jammu and Kashmir is an “integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India”. But, unlike previous statements, it did not say in the March 2 statement that OIC has no locus standi and that India is rejecting the statement.
In its final communique at the Mecca summit, the OIC reiterated its support for the “legitimate rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir” and even appointed a special envoy for the state. The OIC is an international organisation comprising 57 member states, 53 of them Muslim-majority nations.
Responding to a communique adopted at OIC’s summit meeting in the holy city of Mecca last week, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We categorically reject yet another unacceptable reference to matters internal to India in the Final Communiqué adopted at the conclusion of the 14th Islamic Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states held at Makkah on May 31.”
“The OIC has no locus standi in matters relating to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India. It is reiterated that OIC should refrain from making such unwarranted references,” he said.
On March 1, then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had attended the inaugural plenary of the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC in Abu Dhabi on March 1. She was the first Indian minister to address the OIC meeting. India’s participation came despite Pakistan’s strong demand to rescind the invitation to Swaraj.
Pakistan’s request was turned down by host UAE, resulting in Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi boycotting the plenary.
A day after Swaraj had attended the summit, a resolution adopted condemned the “atrocities and human rights violations” in Kashmir — a standard template for all OIC statements over the last several decades.
“As regards the resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, our stand is consistent and well known. We reaffirm that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India,” the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Kumar had said on March 2.
At that point, India had expressed its gratitude to the UAE that Swaraj attended the Council of Foreign Ministers session as the Guest of Honour at the invitation extended by the Foreign Minister of the UAE.
“We deeply appreciate this historic gesture on the 50th anniversary of their first meeting,” the MEA spokesperson had said. Since India got the honour, 50 years after it had been rebuffed, it had chosen to downplay the communique which was adopted at Pakistan’s