One of the largest diplomatic meetings of Muslim countries will not include a discussion on the Kashmiri dispute.
In another setback for the long-suffering people of India-administered Kashmir, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting of foreign ministers has refused to have time set aside to discuss their plight.
A statement released by the OIC made no mention of Kashmir and there will be no special session to discuss India’s draconian military measures that have resulted in a lockdown of the region lasting over a year.
The OIC host, Niger, turned down a request by Pakistan to discuss the Kashmiri issue. This follows a decision earlier this year in which Saudi Arabia also refused Pakistan’s request to have Kashmir on the agenda of foreign ministers.
OIC Secretary General Secretary General Dr Yousef Al Othaimeen was quoted as saying that the meeting would discuss a “list of topics and issues of concern to the Muslim world.”
The 47th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers will be held in the capital of Niger, Niamey, on 27 and 28 November 2020.
On the agenda will be the Palestinian cause, the fight against violence, extremism and terrorism, Islamophobia, the plight of Muslim minorities and communities in non-member states and fundraising for the Rohingya case at the International Court of Justice.
India and Pakistan control parts of Kashmir and the region is hotly contested by the two sides leading to two full-blown wars in 1947 and 1965, and the Kargil War of 1999.
In August of 2019, India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, stripped the region of its long-held autonomous status. For many in the Muslim-majority region, the move sparked fears that New Delhi was attempting to change the demographics by encouraging Hindu migration.
Since then there has been a swift crackdown on any forms of dissent in the Indian state and the more than 12 million people have seen their access to the outside world regularly cut off.
Increasingly the OIC has struggled to remain relevant as a body that represents issues that Muslims around the world face.
Setback to Pakistan. No OIC Contact Group meeting or special session on Kashmir by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. OIC host Niger refuses request by Pakistan for the meet on Kashmir. pic.twitter.com/hyUzOoEDba— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) November 26, 2020
Most recently the body of 57 Muslim countries made no official comment following the controversial decision by the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan to normalise ties with Israel and how those decisions may impact the Palestinian cause.
Saudi Arabia is widely believed to exercise undue influence over the body headquartered in the Kingdom and the ruthless young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has also sought closer ties with Israel.