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India rejects OIC resolution on Kashmir, says matter 'strictly internal'

BusinessToday.In     March 3, 2019

A day after hosting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as a "Guest of Honour" in its conclave in Abu Dhabi, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Saturday slammed India on Kashmir in a resolution adopted by the influential grouping of 57 countries.

The OIC, in its Abu Dhabi Declaration, criticised the India administration's role in the state of Jammu and Kashmir as "intensified Indian barbarities since July 2016" and "illegal detentions and disappearances". It also endorses "plebiscite" in J&K for the resolution of the dispute between India and Pakistan, emphasising that it is the "core" dispute between the two nations. The council also adopted resolutions moved by Pakistan, raising concerns over air-strikes by India on terror camps inside Pakistan on Tuesday.

The OIC praised Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for sending back Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was held captive by Pakistan for two days after his plane was shot down in a duel by Pakistani fighters on Wednesday.

"We welcome the positive initiative undertaken by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to hand over the Indian pilot as a gesture of goodwill to de-escalate tensions in the region", the declaration read.

Reacting to OIC resolution, Indian Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "As regards the resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, our stand is consistent and well known. We reaffirm that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India."

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India has maintained that there can be no "third party intervention" and rejected the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) which also finds a mention in the resolution.

However, the final document of the declaration had no mention of Jammu and Kashmir which is being called a "diplomatic success" for India since Kashmir was mentioned last year. This was a rare occasion when Kashmir was not mentioned in the final document. The last time this happened was in the 2016 Tashkent Declaration.

Sources told India Today that it was still a win for India.

"These resolutions are meant for domestic consumption. The resolutions go without any discussion and debate. Pakistan can say whatever it likes and get it passed because we are not there to oppose it. For India the Abu Dhabi declaration which does not mention Kashmir or in any way hints at India as an aggressor. Pakistan could not manage to get it in final document", say sources.

The 46th session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers Meet concluded on Saturday with the adoption of the Abu Dhabi Declaration.

It was the first time that India was invited to an OIC meeting as guest of honour, despite Pakistan's strong objection after India's air strike on a terror camp in its soil. Miffed by the OIC decision, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had skipped the meeting of foreign ministers and sent junior officials to represent the country.

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Edited by Chitranjan Kumar

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