June 2019 News

Government Slams OIC's Final Communique Reference To Jammu And Kashmir Rights

3 June 2019
Elizabeth Roche

New Delhi: Indian government on Monday said it was 'unacceptable' over the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) reference to Jammu and Kashmir in a communique adopted at its summit meeting in the Saudi Arabian city of Makkah last week. In a strong reaction, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar slammed the OIC saying it should refrain from making such 'unwarranted references.' In its final communique at the Makkah summit, the OIC reiterated its support for the legitimate rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and also appointed a special envoy for the state. The OIC is an international organisation consisting of 57 member states, 53 of them Muslim-majority nations. In his statement Kumar said: 'We categorically reject yet another unacceptable reference to matters internal to India in the Final Communique adopted at the conclusion of the 14th Islamic Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states held at Makkah on 31 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,' Kumar said. Pakistan is suspected to have played a major part in finalising the communique, according to people familiar with the developments in New Delhi - one of the possible key reasons Kashmir having figured so prominently in the OIC communique. The OIC move comes within months of the grouping inviting India as a 'guest of honour' to address a foreign ministers' meeting in Abu Dhabi. On 1 March, former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had attended the inaugural plenary of the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers- becoming the first Indian minister to address an OIC meeting. India's participation happened despite Pakistan's strong demand to withdraw the invitation to Swaraj. Pakistan's request was turned down by host UAE, resulting in Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi boycotting the plenary.