Pakistan ‘Very Upset’ Over Growing Indian Influence in OIC

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister asserted that India wants to use the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) platform to fulfil its own agenda. India is looking for a way to become an observer in order to expand its influence on OIC members, said the minister.

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Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was asked: “Don’t you think that after repeatedly telling India that Pakistan wants to sit down for talks, then to boycott the OIC meeting because India will be present, doesn’t it seem as if we are contradicting our own stand?”

“Not at all … We are ready to sit down with India. But India wants to use the OIC [platform] to further its own agenda. They were looking for a way to become an observer and then gradually force their way in,” the minister, Qureshi responded adding that New Delhi’s stance has been that based on a sizable Muslim population in India.

“They tried [to get membership] in 1993, 1984, 2004 which Pakistan has always been blocking and today too no mention was made regarding the observer status. Pakistan remained successful in that regard,” Qureshi said.

Asked about the opposition’s criticism of his move to boycott the OIC session in Abu Dhabi, Qureshi said: “The opposition is a signatory. We have taken this move after taking into account the parliament and opposition’s opinion on the matter,” he said, adding that Khursheed Shah, Raza Rabbani, and many others all of whom held the unanimous view that Pakistan should not join in.

“If Bilawal sahib and Zardari sahib have contrasting views then they should set things straight among their own ranks because of their party and all those from the opposition who sat down to negotiate a joint resolution [signed on the boycott agreement]. I have all their signatures with me,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister concluded.

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