Why it is significant
The Tashkent Declaration of Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers’ meet (Oct 18-19) made no mention of the Kashmir issue. The significance of this can be judged from the fact that in the last four such meets Jammu & Kashmir had attracted a mention.
The meet touched upon prevailing issues in North Africa, West Asia & Afghanistan, but not on Kashmir. This is a very important development as Prime Minister Modi is doing his all to build a narrative against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism while at the same time Pakistan is doing its bit in raising the Kashmir-bogey. Clearly, it seems that PM Modi has the upper hand.
“We reiterate our full support for Palestine & Al-Quds Al-Shareef, the legitimate & inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination & return to their ancestral places of residence,” reads the declaration.
On the issue of terrorism the OIC didn’t mince any words. “We reiterate that the struggle against terrorism & violent extremism in all forms & their manifestations. We are convinced that these dangerous phenomena can be defeated & eliminated only through a joint action, elaborating the measures of influence both to the symptoms & the roots of these problems. We appreciate the launch of an OIC Messaging Centre to counter the sham narratives of radical & extremist groups. We are continuing to advocate for further close cooperation in the fight against terrorism, spread of extremist ideology, especially among youth.”
Modi Government’s brilliant diplomacy
Since July India has reached out to key OIC states individually through visits by Vice-President, senior MEA officials & India’s diplomatic missions in the respective countries.
Support by individual members to India –
- Home to world’s largest Muslim population, Indonesia, conveyed its reservations on the strongly-worded condemnation against India on the Kashmir issue.
- UAE supported the strong response by India post Uri.
- Bangladesh & Afghanistan supported cross LoC surgical strikes.
It is worth noting that the OIC describes itself as the ‘second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations with 57 member states’ & also claims to be the ‘collective voice of the Muslim world’.
It is of great interest that the man who has been falsely accused over & over again for being involved in an ‘anti-Muslim’ riot, is the same person who is today scaling new heights when it comes to relations between India & key Muslim nations!