NEW DELHI: India criticised the decision by Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to invite Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Omar Farooq to a meeting being held in Pakistan next week, saying it was tantamount to encouraging individuals and entities engaged in terrorism.
“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,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told a weekly media briefing.
The OIC’s council of foreign ministers is scheduled to meet in Islamabad during March 22-23. The session will discuss several political issues, including developments in Afghanistan and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which will be taken up by the OIC’s contact group on Kashmir.
The Indian government takes a “very serious view of such actions which are aimed directly at subverting India’s unity and violating our sovereignty and territorial integrity”, he said.
Bagchi added: “We do not expect the OIC to encourage actors and organisations engaged in terrorism and anti-India activities.”
In an apparent reference to Pakistan’s role in such matters, Bagchi further said it was “highly unfortunate that the OIC continues to be guided by a single member’s political agenda rather than focusing on other important development activities”.
He said, “We have repeatedly called upon the OIC to refrain from allowing vested interests to exploit its platform for comments on India’s internal affairs.”
Though India currently has close ties with several key players within OIC, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, it has traditionally bristled at any attempt to raise the Kashmir issue or matters related to the country’s Muslim minority at the 57-member grouping.
In recent years, India’s increased engagement with OIC members resulted in late external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj being invited as a guest of honour to the council of foreign ministers meeting hosted by the UAE in March 2019.
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi is set to attend the upcoming OIC meet in Islamabad as a guest of honour.