Follow Us:

After IAF strike, Pak says will skip OIC meet if Sushma Swaraj attends as guest of honour

In a significant development in the wake of the Pulwama attack, the OIC has for the first time invited India as the ‘guest of honour’ to the 46th session of its Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in Abu Dhabi on 1-2 March.

SNS | New Delhi |

In a bid to exert diplomatic pressure on Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the wake of Indian Air Force bombing the JeM training camp in Balakot, about 80-km from the Line of Control (LoC) early Tuesday, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he would not be attending the meet in Abu Dhabi where External Minister Sushma Swaraj, India’s external affairs minister, would also be present as a guest of honour.

According to a report in Geo News, Qureshi said he had expressed reservations to his UAE counterpart over the invitation to Swaraj.

“I have made myself clear that India has shown aggression. Under the current circumstances, it will not be possible for me to attend OIC meeting where Sushma Swaraj is present,” he said.

In a significant development in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has for the first time invited India as the ‘guest of honour’ to the 46th session of its Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in Abu Dhabi (UAE) on 1-2 March. The invite to address the inaugural plenary of the OIC meet has been received by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Read | India invited to OIC meet as guest of honour for the first time

The OIC is a forum that has been invariably misused by Pakistan to slam India on the Jammu and Kashmir issue. India, which is not a member of the body, has always rejected its criticism by the OIC by pointing out that the bloc had no locus standi on its internal matters.

The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the UN with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents and a population of more than 1.8 billion.

The Ministry of External Affairs said Swaraj had been personally invited by her UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to address the inaugural plenary of the OIC meeting.

It said India also saw this invitation as a milestone in its comprehensive strategic partnership with the UAE.

Sushma was likely to speak about Pakistan’s continued support to cross-border terrorism in India by highlighting Islamabad’s involvement in various terror attacks in India, including the Pulwama attack.

According to a report in Dawn, Former Pakistan defence minister Khawaja Asif slammed the OIC for inviting Sushma Swaraj as a guest of honour.

He suggested that Pakistan boycott the OIC meeting. “It is an insult that our enemy is being invited as a guest of honour by a country friendly to us at a time when Kashmiris are facing bloodshed. It has not happened in the last 45 years,” he asserted.

The strong reactions from the Pakistani side have come in the aftermath of India carrying out “non-military pre-emptive” airstrikes targeting the JeM training camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province early on Tuesday.

In a 21-minute offensive, 12 Mirage 2000 jets carried out the strike at around 3.30 am and dropped 1000 Kg bombs on terror camps across LOC, completely destroying it.

The IAF jets struck terror camps and launch pads across the LoC in Balakot at around 3.45 am, Muzaffarabad at around 3.48 am and Chakoti at around 3.58 am.

Over 300 terrorists were reportedly killed in the assault.

The airstrikes come in the wake of February 14 terror attack in which over 44 CRPF personnel were killed and many injured in one of the deadliest terror strikes in Jammu-Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden vehicle near their bus in Pulwama district.