India and Organization of Islamic Cooperation - Daily Current Affair Article

References

Recently, India has strongly objected to the statement given on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in the talks of the Foreign Ministerial Council of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Introduction

  • In the 47th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers which was held between 27 and 29 November 2020 in Niyomi (Niger), there is a reference made on India's decision over Jammu and Kashmir. There has been a strong response from India against this.
  • It is noteworthy that the constitutional and political position of Jammu and Kashmir was changed by the Parliament of India last year under which Article 370 was abrogated to and Jammu and Kashmir were converted into two Union territory. Since then, Pakistan has been continuously trying to internationalize the issue. In this sequence, Pakistan raised the issue on the platform of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation

The Islamic Conference Organization was established in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) in May 1971 (by the Heads of State of 24 Muslim countries held a summit in Rabat (Morocco) in 1969 and a meeting of foreign ministers in 1970).

  • At the 38th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Astana (Kazakhstan) in 2011, the organization was renamed from Organization of the Islamic Conference to Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
  • It is an organization of 57 nations. It is the second-largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations.
  • This organization has reserved seats for Muslim-majority countries.

The objective of the organization: -

  • Promote Islamic solidarity in economic, socio-cultural, scientific and other important areas among member countries and arrange consultation among members associated with international organizations;
  • Opposing colonialism in any form throughout the world
  • Establish a fair international system
  • Supporting the Palestine conflict
  • To protect the dignity, freedom, and national rights of all Muslims of the world

India and Organization of Islamic Cooperation

  • In the 45th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (2018), Bangladesh was the first to demand the status of observer country for India in OIC. Bangladesh argued that India represents about 10% of the global Muslim population, so India should have an important place in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. But this resolution became void due to opposition from Pakistan.
  • In the 46th Conference of 2019, India was first invited as the "Guest of Honor" by the UAE Foreign Minister at the Conference of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. But soon after this conference, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation passed a resolution opposing India's decision on Jammu and Kashmir.
  • However, India has strong bilateral relations with the members of the Islamic Cooperation Organization, such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and UAE.
  • India recognizes the two-nation theory in the Palestine-Israel dispute, which is also the objective of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
  • As per the data of 2017, India has about 230 billion US dollar trade with OIC countries. Which is about 10 times more than the trade-in these countries of Pakistan.
  • Although India has many benefits of gaining membership in this organization, due to the anti-India policies of this organization, India is avoiding to join it.

The stand of the OIC on the Jammu and Kashmir

According to the resolution passed in 2019, the Forum of Islamic Cooperation was told that

  • The issue of Jammu and Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and it is necessary to resolve for South Asian stability.
  • In addition, the OIC urged the United Nations to interfere in the alleged human rights violation in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The OIC also praised Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for leaving Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan.

India's stand on this Resolution

  • India made a strong objection to the resolution saying that it is an internal issue of India, and Jammu - Kashmir is an integral part of India.
  • The Parliament of India is fully capable of changing the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir.

India’s benefits from being membership or observer of this organization

  • India's energy security will be strengthened. Because most of the countries in this organization are oil producers.
  • India will have a stronghold in West Asia. That will increase India's stature.
  • India can put pressure on Pakistan on terrorism and other issues through this organization.

The conclusion

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is an important organization but due to some internal problems, it remained a mere spectator on many issues. Along with this, this organization is continuously passing anti-India resolutions. Although its membership is important for India, no benefit can be obtained at the cost of sovereignty. Jammu and Kashmir is the internal subject of India on which India will not accept pressure from any other country or organization. Therefore, India has shown its sovereignty by rejecting its resolution that came in this session.

General Studies Paper 2
  • International Relations

Mains Question:-

  • The resolution against India's decision on the matter of Jammu and Kashmir has been passed in the conference of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. Discuss the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, stating the importance of this organization for India?