Monday, March 1, 2021

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Imran Khan Fumes At Saudi Arabia Over OIC’s Silence On Kashmir: Pakistan Media

Pakistan PM Imran Khan has voiced frustration over the failure of OIC to organize the meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM). PM Khan voiced disappointment over Saudi dominated OIC’s silence on Kashmir while speaking at a think-tank during his visit to Malaysia.

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Khan said: “The reason is that we have no voice and there is a total division amongst [us]. We can’t even come together as a whole on the OIC meeting on Kashmir,” reports the Dawn.

Pakistan has been advocating for the foreign ministers’ meeting of the OIC which is a  57-member bloc of Muslim countries and the second largest intergovernmental body after the UN since India revoked Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi recently emphasized the significance of CFM for Pakistan and said it was needed to send a clear message from Ummah on the Kashmir issue. Support from Saudi Arabia is deemed a necessity for any move at the OIC, which is dominated by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.

 

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Pakistan media Dawn blames Riyadh for avoiding several proposals from Pakistan to circumvent the CFM including holding of a parliamentary forum or speakers’ conference from Muslim countries and, according to one source, a joint meeting on Palestine and Kashmir issues.

Many in Pakistan are worried that the speakers’ forum could be used by Riyadh for bashing Iran because the speaker of Saudi Shura Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh had undertaken some lobbying in that regard with some of his counterparts.

Riyadh had, however, soon after Pakistan’s absence at the Kuala Lumpur summit shown flexibility on the proposal for CFM. Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan indicated that in meetings with FM Qureshi and PM Khan during his visit to Islamabad in December when the two sought Saudi support for the proposed meeting.

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The Saudi FM was then here to thank Pakistani leadership for staying away from the Malaysia summit because of his country’s reservations. But, then Islamabad missed the bus, fearing that convening of a CFM at this stage would appear as a quid pro quo for shunning Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad’s initiative.

The Saudi flexibility too was short-lived and soon Riyadh reverted to its position on the CFM on Kashmir.

FM Qureshi reemphasised Islamabad’s desire for the meeting during his visit to Saudi Arabia for defusing tensions in the Persian Gulf after the assassination of Iranian Commander Gen Qassem Soleimani. However, he has not received a positive response as of yet. FM Qureshi recently said he hoped that the Saudis would “not disappoint us”.

As Reported By The Dawn

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