From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : OIC
Mains level : OIC and Kashmir Issue
- India has rejected the reference to J&K by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at its meeting last week.
- OIC has no locus standi in matters relating to J&K being an integral part of India.
- India reiterated that OIC should refrain from making such unwarranted references.
OIC stance on Kashmir
- The OIC met in Mecca affirmed its support for the people of J&K for the realization of their legitimate right to self-determination, in accordance with relevant UN resolutions.
- It condemned the recent outbreaks of violence in the region and invited India to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions to settle its protracted conflict with its neighbour.
- It also called for the expedited establishment of a UN commission of inquiry to investigate into the alleged HR violations in Kashmir.
- It called on India to allow this proposed commission and international human rights organizations to access Indian-occupied Kashmir.
- The Conference approved the appointment of Saudi Arabia’s Yousef Aldobeay as its Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir.
- OIC — formerly Organisation of the Islamic Conference — is the second largest inter-governmental organisation in the world after the UN.
- It describes itself as the collective voice of the Muslim world, and its stated objective is to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world.
- It has reserved its membership for Muslim-majority countries.
India: Still not even an Observer
- Russia, Thailand, and a couple of other small countries have Observer status.
- Last year, Bangladesh had suggested that India, where more than 10% of the world’s Muslims live, should be given Observer status, but Pakistan had opposed the proposal.
- However, EAM Sushma Swaraj had addressed the Inaugural Plenary of the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC in Abu Dhabi on March 1 this year.
- Indian counterpart was after invited by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Foreign Minister of the UAE as the Guest of Honour.
OIC on Kashmir
- The communique issued in Mecca is not new or unusual.
- The OIC has been generally supportive of Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir, and has repeatedly issued statements criticizing the alleged Indian “atrocities”.
- At the 2018 meeting in Dhaka, however J&K figured in only one of the 39 resolutions adopted, that too, along with 12 other states or regions worldwide.
- Pakistan had complained about the Dhaka Declaration and accused Bangladesh of circulating the text very late.
- India has consistently and emphatically underlined that Jammu and Kashmir is an “integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India.
- The strength with which India has made this assertion has varied slightly at times, but never the core message.
- OIC having no locus standi on J&K itself is stronger statement.
Championing relations with OIC giants
- Individually, India has excellent relations with almost all member nations of the OIC.
- Ties with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, especially, have looked up significantly in recent years.
- The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh MBZ Al Nahyan, was a very special Chief Guest at the 68th Republic Day celebrations in 2017.
- This was the first time that India laid out the Republic Day red carpet for a leader who was neither a Head of State nor Head of Government.