India slams OIC for naming Special Envoy on Kashmir

June 03, 2019 10:32 pm | Updated 10:37 pm IST - New Delhi

India on Monday slammed the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation after it announced a Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir.

The Ministry of External Affairs said that the organisation had no right to interfere in India’s internal affairs.

“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, Saudi Arabia on 31 May 2019,” said a MEA spokesperson in response after OIC appointed Yousef Aldobeah of Saudi Arabia as a Special Envoy on Jammu and Kashmir.

The 14th Islamic Summit was attended by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and other heads of state and government of the 57-member organisation.

Expressing India’s serious objection to the appointment of Mr. Aldobeah as a Special Envoy, the spokesperson said: “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.”

The appointment of a Special Envoy came months after the OIC invited the previous External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to deliver a speech at a ministerial meeting in Abu Dhabi. On March 1, Ms Swaraj flew to Abu Dhabi where she denounced international terrorism which resonated with the Indian audience as it came a fortnight after the terrorist attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama.

During weeks of high tension with Pakistan that escalated after Pulwama attack and India’s strike at Balakot, leading figures of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, both leaders of OIC, urged for peace between New Delhi and Islamabad.

The symbolism of Ms. Swaraj, representing a non-member country in OIC, reflected greater appreciation from OIC for India’s position regarding the Kashmir issue. India has maintained that the Kashmir issue is an internal matter of the country and that disputes with Pakistan are strictly bilateral in nature that does not allow scope for a third party intervention or mediation.

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