- OIC gives no place to Kashmir at FMs’ moot
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has not only kept the Kashmir issue off the agenda of its Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Niamey, Niger, but has blocked a meeting of the Contact Group on Kashmir on its sidelines. This shows that Pakistani diplomacy has been singularly unsuccessful. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will lead the Pakistani delegation to the Summit, even though it is clear that Indian diplomacy has succeeded in doing something it has been unable to do for decades, which was to ensure OIC silence over the issue. It is not as if the OIC’s previous intervention was particularly successful, but even that tokenism is now to vanish.
Perhaps the most worrisome aspect has been Pakistan’s supine acceptance of this. It accepted Saudi blandishments to stay away from the Kuala Lumpur meeting on being assured that Kashmir would be raised at the OIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting. The Indian action last year, of abolishing Kashmir’s special status and attempt to change the Muslim majority there into a minority, accompanied by a brutal lockdown, should have evoked a special summit, but it did not. Instead, Saudi Arabia announced a $15 billion investment in India. Saudi goodwill has not been worth much, especially not after its withdrawal of a huge deposit from the State Bank of Pakistan.
Another manifestation of Indian diplomatic success is the way it has stayed off the UAE’s list of countries whose citizens will not be issued visas because of ‘security concerns’. As the list contains Muslim countries, it is clear the UAE wants to avoid militants coming in. It means that no more Pakistanis can be employed there. India, already dominant in the job market there, will absorb all those jobs easily. The PTI government faces a grievous loss on that count too, because its diplomacy has been ham-handed, and its claims of victory against militancy have not been believed abroad. Remaining a Saudi camp follower means that Pakistan is being taken for granted. As is becoming obvious, if you behave like a doormat long enough, you will eventually be treated like one.