For The First Time, India Invited As “Guest Of Honour” At OIC Meet Amidst Continuous Opposition From Pakistan

The Logical Indian Crew India

February 26th, 2019 / 6:04 PM

India OIC UAE Pakistan Sushma

Image Credit: NDTV

After five decades, India has finally received an invitation to attend the foreign ministers’ meet of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), that will be hosted in Abu Dhabi on March 1 and March 2, reported Live Mint. The United Arab Emirates has invited External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to be the “guest of honour” and to address the inaugural plenary at the 46th meeting of OIC foreign ministers. This move is seen by experts as a major diplomatic victory for the country and a severe blow to Pakistan that has opposed India’s entry to this group, despite India being the third largest Muslim populated country in the world. The decision to invite India came in the heels of Pulwama attack, which claimed the lives of 44 CRPF jawans on February 14.

Why is this important?

Talmiz Ahmad, who is a former Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia appreciating the recent move said that this is a historic victory for India. He said that this is likely to result in a severe setback for Pakistan. He further appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ties with UAE and Saudi Arabia, which helped the country to get an invitation. He also said that Pakistan used to use the platform to abuse India.

The Indian foreign ministry in a statement on February 23 said that Swaraj has been invited by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, foreign minister of the UAE, to address the plenary. The statement further reads, “We see this invitation as the desire of the enlightened leadership of the UAE to go beyond our rapidly growing close bilateral ties and forge a true multifaceted partnership at the multilateral and international level“. The statement further says that this invitation is a welcome recognition of the presence of 185 million Muslims in India.

India has accepted the invitation. The UAE government mentioned the theme of the 46th ministerial was “50 years of Islamic cooperation: The road map for prosperity and development”

Why was India Evicted in 1969?

India was invited to the first OIC meet in Rabat, Morocco in 1969. The meeting was headed by the then Saudi monarch, King Faisal, and heads of some Muslim countries. India was represented by Former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, who had to walk away from the meeting as the then Pakistan President Yahya Khan threatened to walk out of the inaugural OIC meet, if the Indian delegation was invited. Gurbachan Singh, the then ambassador to Morocco heading the Indian delegation was evicted from the conference.

Bangladesh role in helping India

The UAE government on February 23 said that, “The friendly country of India has been named as the guest of honour in view of its great global political stature as well as its time-honoured and deeply rooted cultural and historical legacy, and its important Islamic component“.  The dynamics of the OIC were seen changing for the first time when the OIC foreign ministers’ meet took place in Dhaka in 2018. Bangladesh echoed Turkey to reform the 57-nation grouping, including a suggestion for reforming the body, reported the Economic Times. The then Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmud Ali addressing to all other OIC foreign ministers’ subtly indicating at India, said that a large number of non-OIC members have a significant number of Muslim citizens. He further said that there is a need to build bridges with those non-OIC countries to help the good work of OIC to reach a larger number of Muslim populations.

Also Read: Sushma Swaraj Intervenes, 21 Indian Fishermen Stuck In Iran Released


Written by : Debarghya Sil

Edited by : Bharat Nayak

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