Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
ISLAMABAD: Despite repeated requests from Pakistan to hold a foreign ministers’ meeting on Kashmir, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has shown reluctance to convene such a conference, prompting an upset Islamabad to threaten that it may call a separate gathering on the issue.
Pakistan has been pushing the 57-member organisation, which is the second largest intergovernmental body after the UN, for the foreign ministers’ meeting since India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in last August.
However, there has not been any positive response from the OIC, the biggest bloc of Islamic countries in the world, to Pakistan’s request so far.
“I am once again respectfully telling OIC that a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers is our expectation,” Qureshi said during a talk show on ARY News on Wednesday.
“If you cannot convene it, then I’ll be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir …,” he threatened.
A major reason behind the OIC’s inaction has been Saudi Arabia’s reluctance to accept Pakistan’s request for one specifically on Kashmir. Riyadh’s support is crucial for any move at the OIC, which is dominated by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.
During a virtual meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir held “on the request of Pakistan” on June 22, Qureshi had urged the grouping to “step up its efforts” to resolve the Kashmir issue.