UAE, Saudi Arabia block Pakistan bid to embarrass India at OIC meet

Pakistan delegation, led by its officials instead of the foreign minister, tried to argue against the invite to India as the guest of honour and made attempts to defame India during the sessions.

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Pakistan tried to use every session in the March 1-2 Organisation of Islamic Cooperation meeting in Abu Dhabi to defame India, but failed to get the Kashmir issue mentioned in the final joint declaration of the 57-member group as hosts UAE, besides Saudi Arabia, ensured that the guest (India) wasn’t embarrassed.

The Pakistan delegation, led by its officials instead of the foreign minister, tried to argue against the invite to India as the guest of honour and made attempts to defame India during the sessions, according to people privy to the deliberations. The efforts did not work the way Islamabad wanted.

While the OIC adopted separate resolutions on the Kashmir issue — terming it as the ‘core’ dispute between India and Pakistan — and the recent airstrikes, the final Abu Dhabi Declaration didn’t even have a passing reference to Kashmir.

Sources told ET that the UAE and Saudi Arabia had a very important role to play in ensuring India wasn’t embarrassed at the meeting, even as Pakistan tried to reason also with the foreign ministers of other OIC member states. Reacting to the OIC resolution on Kashmir, foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India’s stand on J&K had always been consistent and well known. “We reaffirm that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India,” he said.



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