Pakistan slams Saudi-led OIC for silence on atrocities against Kashmir Muslims
Pakistan says it will call on a meeting of Islamic counties, with or without Riyadh, to discuss Kashmir where Muslims are “facing atrocities" if the Saudi Arabian-led Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) fails to convene a meeting on the issue.
According to Press TV, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday called on Saudi Arabia to convene a meeting of the OIC council of foreign ministers.
If the Saudis refuse to “play their role, then I will ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to go ahead with or without Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Islamabad “will be compelled to ask the prime ministers to call a meeting of Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir and support the oppressed Kashmiri Muslims.”
Whether a sign of worsening relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia or not, the announcement is certainly a testimony to the kingdom's further isolation amid Muslim states' increasing frustration with Riyadh's warming ties with Israel which has very close ties with India - a nemesis of Pakistan.
Pakistan, which is engaged in a dispute with India over Kashmir, has long been pushing for the foreign ministers’ meeting of the 57-member bloc of Muslim countries, which is the second largest intergovernmental body after the UN.
Riyadh, however, has turned down the request.
Qureshi further called on the OIC to make known its stance regarding the Kashmir issue.
Last year, Islamabad had to skip a summit of Muslim countries in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan among others.
Qureshi admitted that Pakistan withdrew from the three-day summit under pressure from Riyadh.
Qureshi has repeatedly praised Turkey, Malaysia and Iran for standing up for the people of Kashmir and their rights.