Pakistan PM once again rakes up Kashmir issue at OIC meeting in Islamabad

China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi is attending the OIC session as a Special Guest at the invitation of his Pakistani counterpart Qureshi.

ANIUpdated: Tuesday, March 22, 2022, 05:19 PM IST
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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan | Photo: AFP

Turning a blind eye to China's suppression of Uyghur Muslims, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan once again raked up the issue of Kashmir at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Islamabad.

Addressing the keynote address at the inaugural session of the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the 57-member body of Muslim countries, Khan said, "We have failed both the Palestinians and the people of Kashmir. I am sad to say that we have been able to make no impact at all. They don't take us seriously, we are a divided house and those powers know it."

With opposition leaders calling for a no-confidence motion against him, Khan who is on shaky political ground in an attempt to deflect from the real problems of Pakistan urged member countries of the OIC to present an united front to make a significant impact on Palestine and Kashmir.

China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi is attending the OIC session as a Special Guest at the invitation of his Pakistani counterpart Qureshi. Ironically Pakistan PM, Khan continues to support China on its policy regarding Xinjiang, despite the human rights abuses in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region ((XUAR).

Ironically, Khan continues to support China on its policy regarding Xinjiang, despite the human rights abuses in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region ((XUAR).

For years, Chinese authorities have subjected Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in Xinjiang to arbitrary arrests and detentions in internment camps, physical abuse, and restrictions on their religious practices and culture in what the United States and legislatures of several other Western countries say amounts to genocide and crimes against humanity.

"We are 1.5 billion people, yet we are not making a significant impact for Palestine and Kashmir. We need a united front, or else these 'atrocities' will keep happening," said Khan.

"We are 1.5 billion people and yet our voice to stop this 'blatant injustice' is insignificant. We are not talking about conquering some country. We are simply talking about the humans, human rights of the people of Kashmir and Palestine," added Khan.

His comments comes at time when a member high-level business delegation including those from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong are in Srinagar to explore business opportunities. This comes months after Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha's Dubai visit.

At the OIC inaugural address Pakistan prime minister also raked up the issue of the abrogation of the special status to Kashmir. On August 5, 2019, the government of India had revoked the special constitutional status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and abrogated Article 35A.

Article 35A had allowed J-K to define who its 'permanent residents' are and what rights and privileges are attached to such residency. The former state was bifurcated into the Union Territories of Ladakh (without a legislature) and Jammu-Kashmir (with a legislature).

Pakistan has repeatedly sought to raise the Kashmir issue at the OIC against the backdrop of India's dramatically improved relations with several key players in West Asia and in the Islamic organisation, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Taking cue of the present perspective, Khan in a subdued tone urged OIC members to take a collective stand, he said, "I am not talking about altering of foreign policies, all of us have different foreign policies, but, on core issues, I am asking the OIC that unless we have a united front, these abuses will happen, like in Palestine where daylight robbery is going on."

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