OIC recommended a meeting between the nuclear-armed neighbours and sending a delegation to disputed Kashmir. New Delhi has opposed the proposal, saying the platform offered by 57-member Islamic bloc is being "subverted by vested interests".

OIC Contact Group on Kashmir was formed in 1994 to coordinate its policy on the dispute and has Turkey, Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as its five members.
OIC Contact Group on Kashmir was formed in 1994 to coordinate its policy on the dispute and has Turkey, Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as its five members. (AA)

India has reacted angrily to the proposal by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation [OIC] — a 57-member bloc envisioned for the empowerment of majority-Muslim countries — to mediate negotiations between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and send a delegation to disputed Kashmir.

New Delhi's reaction came on Thursday after a meeting between the OIC Secretary General Yousef al Othaimeen and India's envoy to Saudi Arabia Ausaf Sayeed at the OIC office in Jeddah.

Both sides reviewed a number of issues concerning the situation of Muslims in India, along with the Kashmir dispute, and relevant UN and OIC resolutions opposing any unilateral actions on Kashmir, an OIC statement said. 

The OIC  secretary general expressed desire to dispatch a delegation to India-administered Kashmir in line with relevant resolutions of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. 

Othaimeen also asked about the possibility of a meeting between Pakistan and India, stating that OIC stands ready to assist if the two parties would so request.

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India says 'vested interests' subverting OIC

But, the proposal met an angry response from New Delhi. 

"Our ambassador conveyed the need to correct some of the misperceptions about India that are perpetrated by vested interests in the OIC," said India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, The Hindu reported.

"Further, the OIC should be watchful that their platform is not subverted by these vested interests for comments on internal affairs of India or for anti-India propaganda through biased and one-sided resolutions."

Bagchi said the meeting between Othaimeen and Sayeed was requested by the former. 

Pakistan rules out talks

On August 5, 2019, the Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped two pieces of legislation that guaranteed Kashmir a semi-autonomous political status besides barring people outside of the region from buying land or applying for government jobs in the disputed region.

Since then tensions are high in the region even though armies of both countries have silenced their guns on the Line of Control or LoC that divides Kashmir. 

In May, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan ruled out talks with India, saying they cannot happen until New Delhi restores the semi-autonomous status of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Kashmir is split between Pakistan and India and claimed by both in its entirety. 

The two sides have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

Rebels in Kashmir have been fighting Indian rule since 1989. Most Muslim Kashmiris support the rebel goal of uniting the territory, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

India insists the Kashmir militancy is Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Pakistan denies the charge, and most Kashmiris consider it a legitimate freedom struggle.

Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government forces have been killed in the conflict.

The OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir was formed in 1994 to coordinate OIC policy on the Kashmir dispute and has Turkey, Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as its five members.

There are 20 UN resolutions on Kashmir which include seeking a plebiscite in the disputed region to decide its political future.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies