It has 57 members and its objective is to “strengthen solidarity and cooperation among Islamic states in all fields”. Its members are mostly Muslim ‘majority’ countries.
India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj was invited as the guest of honor in 2019’s OIC meeting at Abu Dhabi, Dubai. India has attended this meeting for the 1st time since the inception of the
This made her Pakistani counterpart skip the event altogether! The diplomats of Pakistan tried really hard to make UAE (UAE invited India) retract the invitation, but in vain.
The Parliament of Pakistan passed a joint resolution that asked the country to refrain from attending the meeting if India does.
This, by all accounts, is a diplomatic win of India and a failure of Pakistani diplomacy.
India was supposed to be a founding member of OIC, but Pakistan used its tactics to oust India from its inaugural summit. At that time, in 1969, this was seen as a great diplomatic defeat of India.
India has come a long way from that time, it is almost a world power now. It is also obvious that OIC cannot afford to ignore India for it is a great market for OIC’s member countries and also a supplier of manpower and services.
It also portrays how Pakistan’s standing has shrunk over time. It is no longer able to manipulate other’s decision made to suit itself.
India’s inclusion in OIC had always been a dilemma for them for:
- It has the 3rd largest Muslim population in the world (171 million)
- At the same time, Muslims are a minority here and
- India is a secular state
Yet many member countries agreed that excluding India would hamper their objective of catering to the needs of Muslims, all over the world.
Many countries like Saudi Arabia had pondered over including India but never took an action. India is now a booming economy and including her would benefit the member nations, economically.
India’s eventual inclusion in OIC would emphasize on her diversity. It would be a great platform for India to address the Kashmir issue as Pakistan has traditionally used it to garner support for the same and to condemn it for its state sponsored terrorism.
At the same time, OIC could serve as a medium for India to boost trade or to isolate Pakistan, economically.
Why you do it, Pakistan?
What seems to be strange is that on one hand, Pakistan is trying hard to talk to India (since a very long time) and on the other hand, it is skipping a platform where it would have gotten the opportunity to do it.
But considering the fact that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, laid its very foundation stating that Hindus and Muslims cannot coexist and India cannot represent Muslims, Pakistan’s omission of the event is not that suspicious.
If India gets a membership or even observer status in OIC, it will further deepen Pakistan’s existential crisis.
Anyway, India’s presence in OIC is a great opportunity and India should try to get every ounce out of it.
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