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February 9, 2020

Pak, Saudi FMs discuss Kashmir ahead of OIC senior officials meeting

Top Story

February 9, 2020

ISLAMABAD: A day before the senior officials meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Saudi Arabia reached out to Pakistan and once again reiterated to advance the Kashmir cause bilaterally and from the OIC platform.

The senior officials meeting will prepare for the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers conference in April in Niger.

Pakistan wants that before April an emergency meeting on Kashmir should be held.

Pakistan’s newly appointed Permanent Representative to the OIC Rizwan Saeed Sheikh would represent the government at the senior officials meeting today (Sunday), spokesperson at the Foreign Office told The News. The Foreign Office said the issue of Kashmir was raised when Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud telephoned his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, on Saturday.

However, no details were forthcoming as how the OIC platform would be used in the coming days to send a message that the 57 OIC Muslim states place Occupied Kashmir at the top priority, as Kashmiris continue to remain under the lockdown for over six months now.

The telephone call gains significance because of criticism by no less than Prime Minister Imran Khan, who during his recent visit to Malaysia complained about disunity in the Islamic World.

“The reason is that we have no voice and there is a total division amongst (us). We can’t even come together as a whole on the OIC summit meeting on Kashmir,” Imran Khan said.

The two foreign ministers reaffirmed the strategic importance of the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relationship and reiterated the shared resolve to deepen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields. They also exchanged views on regional developments and agreed to remain in close contact.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Qureshi met with parliamentary leaders of Azad Kashmir at the Foreign Office and said that Pakistan has made extensive efforts to highlight the gross human rights violations in the occupied valley by the Indian government at the diplomatic level. “Kashmir issue is at the agenda of the UN Security Council, but our effort to move the Security Council again was aimed at highlighting the Kashmir issue afresh and get Pakistan’s stance reiterated,” he said.

Qureshi pointed out that Pakistan was successful as the Security Council discussed the Kashmir issue twice. The Human Rights Council in Geneva had also been apprised of the Indian atrocities in the besieged region. He added that the issue had also been debated at European Union Parliament and the United States Congress.