Pakistan’s dream of uniting with Muslim countries against India over Kashmir issue fell flat with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) refusing to interfere into the matter.

Dawn reported that Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi “respectfully” told the OIC to convene a Council of Foreign Ministers over the Kashmir issue, or else Pakistan would “call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on Kashmir”.

He stated that as Pakistan pulled out of the Kuala Lumpur summit after Saudi Arabia’s “request”, it now expects Riyadh to “show leadership on this issue”. Pakistan has been pushing for the foreign ministers’ meeting of the OIC since India abrogated Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. New Delhi has told the international community that its decision on revoking Kashmir’s status is an internal matter, a stance supported by several countries.

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In an earlier report published by Dawn, a Pakistan diplomatic source confirmed that Saudi Arabia had shown reluctance to accept Islamabad’s request for an immediate meeting of OIC foreign ministers’ on Kashmir.

After failing to get a desired response from the OIC members, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “The reason is that we have no voice and there is a total division amongst (us). We cannot even come together as a whole on the OIC meeting on Kashmir.”

Though Pakistan reportedly made attempts to push its narrative of raising the issue of rising Islamophobia in India in its agenda, Maldives, an ally of India, thwarted the move on May 22 and said, “Isolated statements by motivated people and disinformation campaigns on social media should not be construed as representative of the feelings of 1.3 billion.”

Maldives Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Thilmeeza Hussain, said that alleging Islamophobia in the context of India would be factually incorrect.

“It would be detrimental to the religious harmony in the South Asian region. Islam has existed in India for centuries and it is the second-largest religion in India, with 14.2 per cent of the country’s population,” she said.

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