India slams OIC for references to Jammu-Kashmir

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the OIC has no locus standi in matters relating to Jammu and Kashmir

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New Delhi: India on Monday rejected as “unacceptable” the reference by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to Jammu and Kashmir in a communique adopted at its summit meeting in the holy city of Makkah last week.

In a strong reaction, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the OIC has no locus standi in matters relating to Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that the state is an integral part of India. He also said the OIC should refrain from making such “unwarranted references”.

On 1 May, the MEA had said that no member-state of the Islamic group of countries had offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

In its final communique at the Makkah summit, the group of Islamic countries reiterated its support for the legitimate rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and even appointed a special envoy for the state.

The OIC is an international organisation consisting of 57 member states, 53 of them Muslim-majority nations.

“We categorically reject yet another unacceptable reference to matters internal to India in the Final Communique adopted at the conclusion of the 14th Islamic Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states held at Makkah on 31 May,” Kumar said. He was responding to media queries on a reference to Jammu and Kashmir in the OIC document.

“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,” Kumar said.

On 1 March, then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the inaugural plenary of the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Islamic group of countries in Abu Dhabi on 1 March. She was the first Indian minister to address the OIC meeting.

India’s participation came despite Pakistan’s strong demand to rescind the invitation to Swaraj.

Pakistan’s request was turned down by host UAE, resulting in Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi boycotting the plenary.