Narendra Modi's government baffled as OIC reaffirms 'unequivocal' support for Kashmir

In what is being termed as a diplomatic win for Islamabad, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has reiterated its “strong and unequivocal support” for disputed Kashmir in a resolution adopted unanimously in the Muslim bloc’s gathering in Niger.  Representatives of 57-member states attended the two-day meeting that ended on Saturday during which OIC discussed issues confronting the Muslim world.

“The OIC categorically rejected illegal and unilateral actions taken by India since 5 August 2019,” the Pakistani foreign office said in a statement, adding the resolution demanded that India “cancel the issuance of domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris” as well as other unilateral and illegal actions there.

The resolution seemed to be surprising for various reasons. There were some reports suggesting good ties between the UAE and India. Similarly, recently recognition of Israel by the USA, Bahrain, and Sudan and the alleged meeting between Muhammad Bin Salman and the Israeli Prime Minister were the reasons which not only divided the Muslim world but also raised serious questions about the future of the OIC.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi represented Pakistan at the 47th session of the OIC in Niamey.

Established in 1969, the OIC is the world’s second-largest inter-governmental organization after the UN, with 57 member states spread across four continents.  Pakistan is one of its founding members.

The OIC has previously condemned human rights violations in Kashmir, its annexation by India, and the newly-introduced domicile laws that allow non-Kashmiris to take jobs and buy properties in the disputed Himalayan territory.

In Saturday’s resolution, the OIC urged the international community to evaluate their ties with India and include the people of Kashmir in any peace process talks. OIC emphasized that the territorial dispute, specifically “granting the right to self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir” has remained unresolved on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council for over seven decades.

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Other items on the OIC agenda included the Palestinian cause, Islamophobia, the plight of Muslim minorities and communities in non-member states, and fundraising for the Rohingya case at the International Court of Justice. The member states also decided to hold further talks on the Kashmir dispute in OIC’s foreign minister’s session in Islamabad next year.

India cries after OIC issues a strong statement

India’s Ministry of External Affairs has rejected the resolution. “It is regrettable that OIC continues to allow itself to be used by a certain country, which has an abominable record on religious tolerance, radicalism, and persecution of minorities, to indulge in anti-India propaganda. We strongly advise the OIC to refrain from making such references in the future,” the MEA said in the statement.

Turkish President grills PM Modi’s regime

Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hit out against “massacres” of Muslims in India after communal riots in New Delhi left at least 33 dead.“India right now has become a country where massacres are widespread. What massacres? Massacres of Muslims? By who? Hindus,” Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara after violence broke out this week between mobs of Hindus and Muslims over a citizenship law.

Erdogan’s growing fame as ‘mediator’ and a ‘peacemaker’ is acknowledged worldwide. According to an annual popularity index of world political leaders released by Gallup International in collaboration with Gallup Pakistan, President Erdogan has emerged as the most popular Muslim leader in the world.

Modi’s India: A deconsolidating democracy?

Commenting on the state of the economy, Indian writer and human rights activist, Arundhati Roy notes that “while Modi has delivered on Hindu nationalism, he has stumbled badly on the free-market front. Through a series of blunders, he has brought India’s economy to its knees”.

Apoorvanand, who teaches Hindi at the University of Delhi, believes that the BJP is attempting to hegemonize the diverse India which is likely to backfire. He opines that “the BJP and the RSS are trying to hegemonize diverse, regional and cultural spaces and paint them with a broad Hindu brush. Slowly and gradually, they are trying to gain control over institutions – religious and cultural – by putting their people there”.

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He further notes that “they are trying to create a Hindu umbrella, which will shelter all these diverse traditions and give people a feeling of being part of a unified whole called Hinduism. They are also eyeing the tribal traditions. This entry into their holy and cultural spaces is now conspicuous”.

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