Sushma Swaraj’s maiden appearance at OIC
S M Hali


History was created when Sushma Swaraj was invited as the guest of honour at the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) moot of the OIC at Abu Dhabi on 28thFebruary 2019. Pakistan had strongly objected to the presence of the Indian External Affairs Minister since the Indian security forces are carrying out genocide of the hapless Kashmiris. It should be considered derogatory to the over one hundred thousand Kashmiri Muslims martyred by the savage Indian armed forces. Pakistan’s foreign minister threatened to boycott the moot, but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

Swaraj laced her speech with references to the Holy Quran as well as the 99 names of Allah and Mahatma Gandhi’s message of peace. It was ironic that the minister was quoting messages of peace while India is brutally targeting innocent Kashmiri youth with pellet guns, which have killed over 300 youth since July 2016 and permanently blinded 3,600 children. The Kashmiris’ are being punished for engaging in a just struggle for their rights. The UN recognises their right to self-determination which was promised through resolutions of the UNSC in 1948.

India has deployed over 700,000 army personnel in Kashmir, who have slaughtered over 100,000 Kashmiris since 1989, when the armed uprising first commenced. In a bid to divert world attention from its own atrocities, India stages false flag operations against its own military targets but blames Pakistan for it. To lend credence to its false accusations, India launched a surgical strike against imaginary targets in Pakistan, violating its airspace. Pakistan retaliated the next morning which led to shooting down two Indian fighter jets. One of the Indian pilots was captured alive. In a humanitarian gesture, Pakistan unconditionally returned him, but this move was greeted with scorn and disdain by the Indians.

India’s long cherished dream of participating in OIC was fulfilled but at a great loss to its esteem

Speaking to the OIC, without naming Pakistan, Sushma Swaraj called out for the isolation of countries that fund and support terror. If she was expecting to isolate Pakistan at the OIC, it turned out to be a failure. In a sharply-worded statement on 2ndMarch, the OIC hit out at what it called “intensified Indian barbarities since July 2016” and “illegal detentions and disappearances” in Jammu and Kashmir. New Delhi tried to soften the blow after the OIC criticised India in a resolution adopted by the influential grouping of 57 countries. The resolution attacked India for “indiscriminate use of force against innocent Kashmiris” and also praised Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan for sending back the Indian pilot. India tried to give the impression that the issue of the Kashmir uprising is its internal matter. There were no takers to India’s false claims.

In response, the Foreign Office said that the OIC meeting of foreign ministers had concluded with a resolution that “supported” Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. Evidently, Pakistan’s position has been vindicated.

Numerous political leaders from the Indian National Congress and others from the ruling party, criticised Indian PM Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj for the embarrassment in Abu Dhabi. They called it a failure of India’s foreign policy.

In reaction to the OIC resolution, the Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari as saying, “The NDA-BJP government touted it as a huge diplomatic success for India that it has been invited to attend the plenary.