Indian external affair ministry’s spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, on Thursday slammed Pakistan for inviting Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairperson of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, to attend the following week’s meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation council of foreign ministers.
“We have seen in India media reports regarding an invitation extended by the OIC secretary-general to the chairman of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference to attend the 48th session of the OIC council of foreign ministers in Islamabad on March 22-23,” Arindam Bagchi told the press.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (#OIC) will hold the 48th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) under the theme (Building Partnerships for Unity, Justice, & Development) in #Islamabad, Islamic Republic of #Pakistan, March 22-23, 2022. #OIC48CFM #OICInPakistan pic.twitter.com/gBRJR4qIHW
— OIC (@OIC_OCI) March 15, 2022
The Indian government has termed this invitation as encouraging subversion and terrorism inside India and a threat to its territorial integrity and sovereignty. All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), formed in 1993, is an alliance of 26 parties and presents a united front for the Kashmir cause.
The group believes that Kashmir is a disputed territory and an unfinished business of independence that needs to be settled according to the will of the Kashmiri people. Following the invitation, the Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson said that this was tantamount to encouraging groups and individuals to indulge in terrorist activities.
Read more: OIC summit: Strategy of Inaction?
The spokesperson added, “We do not expect the OIC to encourage the actors and organizations engaged in terrorism and anti-India activities”. Without pointing fingers, the MEA spokesperson said that it was regrettable that the OIC was being used as a tool to propagate the political agenda of a single country.
“We have repeatedly called upon the OIC to refrain from allowing vested interests to exploit the platform for comments on India’s internal affairs,” said the MEA spokesperson.
To clarify, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is a Kashmiri reformist and the head of the APHC. Prior to India’s unilateral action to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating articles 370 and 35A, Mirwaiz Umar, joined by many other Kashmiri activists, was arrested and put under house arrest. After 19 months of house detention, Mirwaiz was finally released in March 2021. The APHC leader would be joined by at least 48 other members of the OIC who have confirmed their attendance at the meeting.
Read more: Talking About OIC: Facts and Fiction
The OIC is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1969. The organization has 57 member statesand works to protect the interest of Muslims around the world. The summit would be the 48th summit of the organization. Although India has warm ties with many of the members of the OIC, but it has traditionally thwarted every attempt from the platform which seeks to raise the Kashmir issue.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to send a high-level delegation to Pakistan. The high-level Russian delegation would meet the President, the Prime Minister, and the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. The delegation will view the ongoing political situation and is expected to hold talks on security and economic cooperation.
Read more: FM Shah Mahmood hopes pro-Kashmir voices to be raised in US Congress
The delegation would also attend the annual Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) foreign ministers meeting. Apart from the Russian delegation and the Foreign ministers of 48 countries, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will also be present in the OIC meeting.