OTHERS

Iran to view favourably India's entry into OIC

NEW DELHI, JULY 20. Teheran would favourably view any move by New Delhi to join the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), according to a senior Iranian official.

Responding to questions at a press conference here on the possible entry of India into the OIC, the visiting Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, Mr. Mohsen Aminzadeh, said the OIC ``must pay attention'' to the fact that India has a ``substantial population'' following the Islamic faith.He pointed out that there will have to be a consensus among the OIC members on admitting India.

Pakistan is likely to object to India's attempt to join the OIC. Islamabad had effectively blocked New Delhi's moves to become a part of the organisation when it was founded in the late 1960s.

The Iranian official said there has been no formal application by India to become either an observer or a member of the OIC.

The recent Indian diplomatic efforts to build new economic and political bridges to the Islamic world has given rise to speculation about India's possible interest in joining the OIC.

The Indian absence at the OIC has given a free diplomatic run to Pakistan in promoting anti-India resolutions within the Organisation, particularly on the Kashmir issue.

There are calls within the Islamic world for reforming the OIC to make it respond more effectively to the challenges of social advancement and globalisation.

Even if the modernisers within the OIC prevail and give it a new direction, analysts here say the likelihood of India joining the organisation remains rather remote.