FO says Kashmir stays on OIC meeting agenda

Spokesperson says Pakistan was not informed about the UAE visa ban


Kamran Yousaf November 26, 2020
ISLAMABAD:

The Foreign Office on Thursday denied reports that Jammu and Kashmir dispute was not part of the agenda of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers meeting starting in Niger on Friday (today).

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has reached Niger’s capital, Niamey, to represent Pakistan at the 47th Session of the OIC CFM. On Thursday Qureshi called on OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen and discussed with him wide range of issues confronting the Muslim Ummah.

The Foreign Office said in a statement that reports that Jammu and Kashmir dispute was not part of Niamay meeting agenda were baseless, stressing that such “irresponsible speculations are part of false Indian propaganda and disinformation campaign” against Pakistan.

“Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains a permanent item on the OIC’s agenda. The organisation has been unambiguously pronouncing itself on the issue for decades, through a succession of summit as well as CFM resolutions,” Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said.

Chaudhri told a weekly news briefing that in the aftermath of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August 2019, the OIC had been actively seized with the matter.

“In a series of pronouncements, issued from time to time, the OIC Secretary General has called for settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” the spokesperson added.

He also pointed out that the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir also met thrice during the past 15 months. “The Contact Group last met at the level of Foreign Ministers in June this year. The final communique of that meeting called upon India to rescind its illegal actions and stop egregious human rights violations in the illegally occupied territory.”

His reaction came after agenda of the OIC foreign ministers meeting did not explicitly mention the issue of Kashmir, raising questions about the failure of government’s policy. Qureshi is attending the meeting and the Foreign Office said he would brief the member states about the current situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

The Foreign Office spokesperson said it was expected that the CFM session would reiterate its strong support for the Kashmir cause. “Let me confirm that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute continues to be amongst the longest standing items on the OIC agenda,” he added.

UAE visa ban

Regarding the suspension of visas by the UAE, the spokesperson said the developments regarding change in visa policy of the UAE for Pakistani nationals and its purported causes had not been confirmed by the UAE. “We are in contact with the UAE authorities in this regard,” he said.

“We do not agree with the media reports that characterise the attitude of UAE authorities towards Pakistan as ‘hostile’.” He said millions of Pakistanis work and reside peacefully in the UAE, with the approval of the UAE authorities. Isolated events should not be used to cast aspersions over the nature of Pakistan’s long standing fraternal ties with the UAE.

The UAE last week suspended visas for 13 countries, including Pakistan, citing security concerns. However, there was no clarity that what was the nature of security concerns. Some observers say that Saudi Arabia and UAE have been putting pressure on Pakistan to recognise Israel.

However, the spokesperson categorically denied such reports. He made it clear that there was no change in Pakistan’s policy on Israel. He further stated that no proposal was under consideration to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.

The spokesperson reiterated Pakistan’s principled stance on the Middle East conflict, calling for the two-state solution with pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds al Sharif as capital of Palestine.

 


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