ISSN 2330-717X

48th OIC Conference: Pakistan Calls The Shots – OpEd

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Pakistan has been calling the shots in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as it hosted the 48th OIC Conference of Foreign Ministers coinciding with the 82nd anniversary of the Pakistan Day. The theme of the two-day summit was launched under the title-“Building partnerships for unity, justice and development.”

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Wonder the compulsions of the OIC abiding to the calls of a near failed nation and a failed leader Prime Minister Imran Khan who appears to be on his way out awaiting the National Assembly vote of no-confidence and being bowled out. Recent developments in Pakistan are once again nearing the truth that no Prime Minister of Pakistan has ever completed their term. OIC conference may have been Khan’s last as a head of state!It is highly unfortunate that Pakistan continues to be guided by a single point agenda ‘Kashmir’ especially when OIC meetings are hosted in Pakistan.

Two firsts of the 48th OIC Conference against India.

Pakistan has always used OIC as a platform to gather support to voice its agenda against India on the ‘Kashmir issue’. Two firsts of the 48th OIC Conference against India. Firstly the OIC had invitated ‘All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC)’ Chairman, Masarrat Aalam Butt (Kashmiri Separatist Organisation). Secondly invited ‘Iron Brother’, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi as a special guest. This invite may have been forced on Pakistan by China itself to ensure that by its presence that the issue of Uighur Turkic Muslim minority community in the Xinjiang region of China is not discussed. Pakistan’s other interest was to also garner support from China on the   ‘Kashmir issue’. Chinese foreign minister’s attendance at OIC conference in Pakistan is questionable?

Wang Yi said, the Chinese foreign minister’s first attendance at the OICsession reflects the continuous development of bilateral relations and the further enhancement of mutual trust. The relationship between China and the Islamic world dates back to ancient times.China’s foreign minister Wang Yi assured Pakistan of Beijing’s “firm” support in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity “no matter what changes” internationally or within the two countries, in an apparent show of strength against regional rival India.

Speaking at the conference, Wang had said that, “on the Kashmir issue, we have once again heard the call of many Islamic friends. China shares the same aspiration. “China believes that the Kashmir “dispute” should be peacefully and properly addressed in accordance with the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and the bilateral agreement. Beijing has always sided with Islamabad when it comes to Kashmir.

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Islamic world again fails to stand up for Uighurs.

Several global crises and human rights abuses impacting Muslims were discussed it was notable that the plight of the Uighur Turkic Muslim minority community in the Xinjiang region of China was not even mentioned. The OIC statement mentioned the plight of those in Afghanistan; India-administered Jammu and Kashmir; Yemen; Syria; Somalia; Palestine; and the Rohingya community, among others. 

Uighur campaigners have rightly slammed the Chinese foreign minister’s attendance at a meeting of the OIC and criticised the body for not speaking up about their plight and denounce the summit in Islamabad as ‘Shameful’. The Chinese government is accused of detaining more than one million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, and subjecting them to abuses that some call a “genocide”. China denies the allegations of abuse.

The phenomenon of ‘Islamophobia’ in Europe was addressed and decided that through an integrated approach that looks at, documents and deconstructs OIC Conference in a realistic manner, toward a constructive advocacy for Muslims living in Europe.However, Islamophobia remains a contested term and for many does it really exist? It is not that Islam is threatened, the world over, in majority cases Muslims are threatening other communities around the world due their belief in population explosion an issue never discussed.

At the end of the 48th OIC Conference of Foreign Ministers, one is tempted to question what has the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation really achieved over the years? How relevant and effective was the 48th OIC other than showing solidarity of getting together of over 50 CFMs overshadowed by China the Economic giant whose attendance in the OIC Conference itself is questionable? Yes, both Pakistan and China achieved their individual aims. Where is the OIC heading with its Islamophobia ?

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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