Exclusive: Inside details of Pakistan’s diplomatic failure at OIC
The first protest happened during the second session when the Pakistani delegation led by Raja Ali Ejaz, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, argued with the OIC for extending invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as the guest of honour.
- At OIC, Pakistan failed in getting Kashmir included in the final joint communique
- Pakistan did not attend the OIC meeting over special honour to Sushma Swaraj
- Pakistan tried its best to get OIC to withdraw its invitation to India but to no avail
Pakistan may have won the battle at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) but, India has won the war. While Pakistan claimed victory for getting a separate resolution on Kashmir passed by the OIC, it failed in getting Kashmir included in the final joint communique, the Abu Dhabi Declaration.
The joint declaration or the final draft is the only document that the host (UAE) drafts and presents for discussion. It is the only document which is adopted by all the 57 member nations at the OIC.
Despite numerous assertions, the forum and the host country did not give in to Pakistan’s demands to include Kashmir in the final draft.
India Today TV has learnt through sources privy to the goings on at the conference that Pakistan used the forum to protest in every session on various issues related to India. The first protest happened during the second session when the Pakistani delegation led by Raja Ali Ejaz, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, argued with the OIC for extending invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as the guest of honour.
An official present in the meeting said, “They made their displeasure abundantly clear during the second session of the first day [March 1], blasting the OIC for inviting India. They were referring to some resolution in their Parliament.”
Pakistan, on Friday (March 1), had announced that it will not attend the 46th session of the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Abu Dhabi.
During the joint session of Parliament in Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “A joint resolution has been passed by Parliament, signed by all parties, which demands that Pakistan refrain from attending the OIC meeting. In light of this resolution, I will not attend the meeting.”
That was the first diplomatic win for India.
Pakistan tried its best to get OIC to withdraw its invitation to India but to no avail. Pakistan did not just protest at the forum, the country’s delegation reached out to the UAE and Saudi Arabia and even called for an emergency meeting of the OIC “Contact Group on J&K” in Jeddah on February 27 to get the invitation withdrawn.
Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and President of AJK or “Azad Kashmir” Masood Khan were also present in the emergency meeting. Their argument was the alleged human rights violations against Kashmiris and minorities in India.
While they tried to make a strong case on why India should not be invited, but the arguments failed to convince the host.
Sushma Swaraj was invited by her UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Sources tell India Today TV that Pakistan was conveyed that there will be no change in the decision to “invite” India. Pakistan was also informed that Sushma Swaraj would be “welcomed with full honour” accorded to a guest.
Despite its insurmountable pressure on all the Islamic nations, the second and bigger blow came when Pakistan could not get ‘Jammu and Kashmir’ mentioned in the joint declaration of the 46th session of OIC.
The Abu Dhabi Declaration has no mention, not even a passing reference, of Jammu and Kashmir. Much diplomatic effort was put in by India to ensure that it is kept out of the joint communique.
Sources say that UAE and Saudi Arabia had a very important role to play in ensuring the “guest” is not “embarrassed”.
The Pakistani delegation was also seen engaged in serious conversations with various foreign ministers, particularly the Saudi foreign minister. However, their efforts could only get them success in separate resolutions on Kashmir, India-Pakistan peace process, the recent air space violations, minorities’ situation in India and destruction of religious place.
An official explained, “The resolutions don’t reflect or need a consensus. They are essentially national positions of individual countries. Many countries move resolutions of their own interest, most go unopposed.”
The last session of the last day (March 2) was a clincher for India. The session to adopt the final document, the Abu Dhabi Declaration, witnessed some hysterical scenes.
When the joint declaration was to be adopted, there were only two countries that stood in protest. Iran and Pakistan. Iran protested the paragraph which spoke of “Iranian occupation of three Emirati islands”, calling the process undemocratic and unfair.
Sources confirmed to India Today TV that the Pakistani delegation was unhappy about the lack of opportunity to get their views into the Abu Dhabi Declaration. So, while Pakistan has been calling its diplomatic maneuverings a grand success, it is India, an outsider, that won the day.
In the history of all the “joint declarations” at the OIC, the 2016 Tashkent Declaration was the only time when Kashmir was omitted from the final document.
source: India Today