The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Saturday adopted a resolution on Jammu and Kashmir, condemning the “atrocities and human rights violations” in the state, The Indian Express reported. This came a day after India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj urged the organisation to come together to fight the global menace of terrorism and extremism.
The resolution on Kashmir had phrases such as “mass blindings” – referring to the use of pellet guns by security forces on protesting youth, and references to “Indian terrorism” in the state, The Hindu reported. It also said the group “condemns the trend of unprecedented escalation of ceasefire violations by Indian occupation forces”. The recommendations included an appeal to members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to mobilise funds for “humanitarian assistance to the Kashmiri people”.
In response, India issued a statement saying that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the country, and the matter is “strictly internal to India”. The Ministry of External Affairs, which issued the statement, also said that “we deeply appreciate” the “historic gesture” of inviting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to the 50th anniversary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah said the group had sent a “very clear and positive sign to India”. “I think the OIC has sent a very clear and positive sign to India and looks forward to strengthening such a relationship to a point where we can embrace India one day at the OIC,” he said.
However, the resolution on Kashmir was kept out of the main negotiated document, the Abu Dhabi Declaration. The Indian Express, citing sources, said that resolutions such as the one on Kashmir “are based on country proposals and are not negotiated documents”.
Swaraj, in her speech, had urged the group to come together to fight the menace of terrorism. “Terrorism and extremism bear different names and labels. It uses diverse causes,” she said. “But, in each case, it is driven by distortion of religion, and a misguided belief in its power to succeed.”
Swaraj’s Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi skipped the OIC meeting in protest against the group’s decision to invite her. Relations between India and Pakistan have been tense since a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14 that killed 40 soldiers.