A leopard can’t change its spots, in the same way Pakistan cannot skip even a single chance to discomfit India at any global platform. In the UN General Assembly meeting also, Pakistan had made an unsuccessful attempt to abash India and was slammed properly by the Indian representative and IFS Officer Sneha Dubey.
Pakistan repeated the same behavior at the OIC meeting on 19th December 2021. Pakistan hosted the 17th session of the Emergency Meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad on Sunday.
Why was this OIC summit organized?
Organization of Islamic Cooperation, known as OIC , is actually a group of 57 Muslim majority countries. This group was founded in 1969 and has its Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The organization is called “collective voice of Muslim world”.
The idea to host the OIC meeting was proposed by Saudi Arabia last month. Pakistan welcomed the move and offered to host the meeting. The motto behind the meeting was to make the international community aware of the ground situation of Afghanistan and also arrange monetary aid to help the people of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is facing an economic and humanitarian crisis since the Taliban captured it. Many countries are trying to help Afghanistan. Recently, Saudi Arabia’s state-run King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) sent more than 65 tons of aid, including 1,647 food baskets and plans to send a total of six planes to deliver more than 197 tons of aid to Afghanistan.
Foreign ministers from OIC member nations like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, UAE, Qatar and others attended the meeting. Taliban had also sent an 8-member delegation led by its Foreign Minister Aamir Khan Muttaqi. The real agenda of Pakistan was to connect the Taliban government with the international community and help Taliban in getting global recognition. OIC’s secretary General Ibrahim Taha reached Pakistan ahead of the meeting and expressed his appreciation to Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the Finance Minister of Pakistan.
The official motto of this OIC meeting was to discuss the issues of Afghanistan.But reports say that Pakistan had the plan to persuade the OIC members to give recognition to the Taliban government. When no country showed interest in the proposal, Pakistan changed its plan and asked them to discuss the ways to help Afghanistan.
What did Pakistan say in the meeting?
Pakistan took the opportunity to push its Kashmir agenda. Imran Khan first played an apologist for the Taliban’s dictates on women, like not allowing girls to attend schools. He justified it by calling it a difference of opinion and culture. He gave irrelevant logic like Tribal people also do not send their children to schools, so it is just a difference of culture. Then, as always, Imran Khan raised the Kashmir issue, an issue which was not even on the agenda of the meeting. He said that India tortures Kashmiri people and has occupied it illegally. Imran Khan also tried to persuade the Muslim countries to corner India on the Kashmir issue. But he couldn’t convince them at all.
Nothing specific came out as the result of the meeting, only one thing over which all the countries have agreed upon, is to create a joint fund for financial assistance to Afghanistan.
Meanwhile something significant happened in India…..
Coincidently, on the same day, 19th December, India organized the 3rd India- Central Asia dialogue. The Foreign ministers of 5 Central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attended the meeting in India. These 5 are also the OIC members, but they sent their deputies to the OIC meeting and preferred to attend the meeting India. It is a big diplomatic victory for India that these 5 nations are giving more importance to India than the OIC platform.
The outcomes of 3rd India-Central Asia dialogue were-
India and these 5 Central Asian countries share an agreement onboard regional consensus over Afghanistan. They all agreed to establish joint working groups for free movement of goods between India and Central Asia, they also nodded to utilize the alternative routes for India- Central Asia trade like Chabahar port.
What is the significance of India- Central Asia dialogue?
This meeting of Indian Finance Minister S. Jaishankar with Central Asian Finance Ministers is very significant for India- Central Asia relations. PM Modi also greeted them personally and congratulated them for 30 year of Independence.
India’s trade with the Central Asian region amounts to 2 billion USD whereas China’s trade with Central Asia is 43 billion USD. These 5 Central Asians are also part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. India wants to increase mutual trade and commerce with these countries now. India’s trade with China is also 90 billion USD. These countries also see India as an alternate trading partner as China is trying to trap every country in its debt cycle. They don’t want to be over-dependent on China. India is also trying to use this golden opportunity to increase its global trade and prestige. These countries’ delegates will also attend India’s Republic Day parade in 2022 as chief guests.