|Why is government muted on OIC calling Kashmir ‘occupied territory’
By Aditya Pradhan
THE latest twist in the Kashmir story which has been helped by Pakistan, the seditious groups in Kashmir and a section of interlocutors in India is the letter from the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to chairman of ‘moderate’ faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. The reaction of the Indian government is almost muted as if the occurrence was just routine and insignificant.
The letter which is an invitation to Mirwaiz Farooq for the OIC meet refers to Kashmir as an independent state. The invitation is for the 38th meeting of foreign ministers of the grouping to be held in Kazakhstan from June 28 to 30.
Union Minister of Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid presenting the government point of view kept harping on the need to continue the dialogue process with Pakistan rather than take objection to OIC’s reference to Kashmir as an independent state. It is notable that in any debate over Kashmir only the Indian government representative talks about the dire need for dialogue with Pakistan at the cost of such aggressive posturing by countries in the OIC.
The Kashmir terrorists and separatists groups or their Pakistani government representatives never mince words when it comes to calling the shots in Kashmir. When the invitation to Mirwaiz Farooq first appeared in the media External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said, “we have seen reports that the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) has again chosen to refer to Jammu & Kashmir incorrectly, in an invitation to an Indian invitee to an OIC meeting. This is most regrettable”.
But the government instead of calling the diplomats of the OIC countries and giving them a dressing down foreign secretary Nirupama Rao has resumed talks with Pakistan on june 23. A day before that Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani at a public meeting was seen making his signature freedom struggle statement to loud cheers from the public.
The starkness of the OIC stand on inviting Mirwaiz Farooq is that most Muslim countries don’t even have any democracy in their own state. The few others have only an apology for a democratic system that the West has evolved and excelled over a long time.
Second, India has the second largest Muslim population in the world, second only to Indonesia, yet the OIC has the gall to invite a representative from a small break-away group in Kashmir.
Third and most importantly, Mirwaiz Farooq has already left for Kazhakstan on an Indian passport. How does a seditious group leader from India go to represent the freedom struggle in Kashmir on an Indian passport? The government seems to quietly acquiesce the move as it did not even proceed to revoke the passport of Mirwaiz Farooq or prevented him from travelling to Kazhakstan for the meet.
Sajjad Lone, leader of the People’s Conference Party in Kashmir, was talking about how such ‘semantics’ should not derail the OIC meet. He wanted to leave it to Mirwaiz Farooq’s choice to go or not to go for the meet. Wonder, if the freedom struggle in Kashmir, by same standards, can be termed as semantics by such separatist groups.
But even more ridiculous was Chief Minister of Kashmir Omar Abdullah’s statement that, “we should not be sentimental about these issues as OIC had its own compulsions”. The moot point is why should India be used in meeting OIC’s compulsions when the group of 56 countries has always been adversarial to India’s interest.