J&K: India slams OIC’s appointment of envoy

Sandeep Dikshit

NEW DELHI: India has reacted strongly to the attempt by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference to meddle in its “internal affairs” by “appointing” a special envoy on Jammu and Kashmir.

This is the second time this year that India has objected to the OIC “meddling” in its internal affairs.

While India is not a member of the OIC, the Foreign Office here sees Pakistan playing an active role on the forum to unsettle India, underplay its achievements vis-À-vis Islamabad and even minimise the impact of terrorist incidents such as the Mumbai attacks in November last year.

“It is regrettable that the OIC has commented on India’s internal affairs. We condemn and reject this,” said the Foreign Office while reacting to the “appointment” of a Saudi national as the special envoy on J&K after a meeting of its contact group on Kashmir.

“Inherent in the OIC’s statements and actions on the issue of J&K is a complete inability to understand India’s position. J&K is an integral part of India and it is our firm position that the OIC has no locus standi in matters concerning India’s internal affairs,” added the Foreign Office statement. Angry words notwithstanding, diplomats were still trying to ascertain whether the “appointment” by an OIC subcommittee was a recommendation.

The OIC is one of the largest inter-governmental organisations after the United Nations and has a membership of 57 countries.

Fact finding mission

The OIC has for long been pushing the Indian government to host a “fact finding mission” to Jammu and Kashmir. But with J&K separatists active at the OIC contact group on Kashmir and Pakistan, an involved party in the dispute being an active member, India has been reluctant to allow a misinterpretation of the scenario in the State.

In the latest instance, Hurriyat leaders rushed to the media with the news of the OIC “appointing” an envoy on J&K. They also spoke at the OIC contact group meeting along with leaders of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and some New York\Washington-based intellectuals who have been opposed to J&K in its present form being part of India.

Diplomats here point out that at its previous summit, the OIC praised Pakistan for holding the composite dialogue but did not comment on several confidence-building measures initiated by New Delhi.