J&K – The issues around the state

Explained: OIC’s reference to J&K, and India’s response to itIOCR

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : OIC

Mains level : OIC and Kashmir Issue


Context

  • 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.

About OIC

  • 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’s response

  • 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.
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