NEW DELHI: At the UN yesterday, India firmly and unequivocally+ told the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that it would be better off not commenting on India's internal affairs, reported ANI.
India was replying to comments on Kashmir made by Pakistan, which was using the OIC to comment on the troubled state, as is its wont. Pakistan made its comments on behalf of the OIC, of which it is a member.
"Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has no locus standi on India's internal affairs, we strongly advise the OIC to refrain from making such references in future," said Sumit Seth, first secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to UN.
Seth delivered his response using the 'right of reply', after Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, made its statement.
The OIC is a 57-nation body which says it is "the collective voice of the Muslim world".
The OIC has made comments on Kashmir several times over the years+ . In one recent such instance in July, the OIC talked about "gross human rights violations in Kashmir" and said the Kashmir dispute posed a threat to the peace and security of the region. The OIC made these comments at a foreign ministers' meeting in Cote d'Ivoire.
At the meeting, Sartaj Aziz, then adviser to the Pakistan prime minister, spoke of "Indian atrocities" in the Kashmir Valley following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani on July 8 last year.
In a response near identical to yesterday's, the external affairs ministry told the OIC to refrain from commenting on the issue.
"India outrightly (sic) rejects all such references. The OIC has no locus standi on India's internal affairs. We strongly advise the OIC to refrain from making such references in future," said the external affairs ministry in an official statement.
In April, the OIC went so far as to say it "backs Pakistan" on the Kashmir issue and added that it believes that there is a need to put "pressure" on India on the issue of alleged human rights violations in the state.
Pakistan, meanwhile, always rakes up the bilateral issue on international forums.
In May, at a meeting of the OIC, Pakistan raised the Kashmir issue with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, reported PTI.
A month before that, minister in Pakistan's permanent mission to the UN, Masood Anwar, raised the Kashmir issue in his statement to the UN General Assembly session of the committee on information.