Binoo Joshi

Special to J K News Today  

Nearly  51-year-old Organisation of Islamic  Cooperation , a powerful group of  57-  Muslim-majority countries  across the continents has snubbed  one of its founding members  Pakistan , and for good reasons . Pakistan’s obsession with Kashmir and repeated aspersions on  its status and megalomaniac  claims on the territory that legally and constitutionally belongs to India , is becoming  too much for the OIC to bear.

Saudi Arabia led group  that almost operates on the pattern of the United Nations  on some of the international affairs concerning  Muslim countries  across continents did not convene a session of its Council of Foreign Ministers on Kashmir despite the repeated requests by Pakistan . The group-maintained silence when India decided to scrap Article 370 from its Constitution on August 5 last year the prodding and nudges by Pakistan notwithstanding . That was an endorsement of the Indian stand that it was its internal affair  and no country should be making any unfair comment about the historic decision.

On the first anniversary ,Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi , could not contain himself on this pragmatic approach of the OIC on Kashmir, and let his steam of anger out , accusing the  CFM of “ dragging its feet” on Kashmir. He was angrier with Saudi Arabia that had  asked Pakistan not to facilitate a parallel group of Islamic nations which  Turkey   and Malaysia were trying to set up. Pakistan had abstained from a conclave in  Kuala Lumpur  on the directions of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia

But Pakistan wanted to extract a price. It had launched a campaign for convening of a session  on Kashmir. The vast majority  of the group  did not respond , and others simply rejected this preposterous suggestion.  This was a diplomatic and  political humiliation of Pakistan by  the same very group  of which it was a founding member and boasting of its support  all the time,  without realizing that in this changed world order the demands of international relations  have changed.

Each country  has its sovereignty and guards its national interests in the world order that has shaped now, particularly after the Corona virus hit the world . There are  new rules that are being defined by the day.

Saudi Arabia , an oil rich nation , also felt the impact of  the pandemic . Its approach was most pragmatic . It suspended  the holy pilgrimages for more than three months, suffering a huge loss to its economy , it stopped all religious gatherings during the holy month of Ramzan , and now allowed Hajj pilgrimage on a very limited scale . All these decisions show that while the kingdom gives due respect to religious orientation and supremacy of Islam, it also understood the need to save its people . It is now on the course to recover its economy , a critical element its own people and also the people in need elsewhere in  the world .

It goes to the credit of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that it did not allow  its own time and energy to be  wasted for the whims of Pakistan on Kashmir .

Qureshi by accusing  OIC of dragging its feet on Kashmir has interfered in the  Saudi Arabia led group’s agenda. It’s time that Pakistan realizes that its actions on Kashmir,  and the high-pitched rhetoric is abandoned once and for all.