A Rare Diplomatic Victory For Pakistan On Kashmir

Posted on Posted inOpinion

ISLAMABAD (Dec 19, 2018) — On Monday, the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued a condemnation for the “wicked terrorist act by Indian forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir” after seven civilians were killed in Pulwama district on Saturday.

The OIC condemnation came after Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote to the secretary general, with the United Nations secretary general and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also being approached.

While the OIC has called out Indian state brutalities in the past, the severity of the language in its latest statement is unprecedented, with the group categorically dubbing the Indian armed forces’ action “terrorism.”

Over the years, the OIC has largely expressed “deep concern” and “disappointment” and requested “restraint” in Indian-administered Kashmir. Even when violence escalated in summer of 2016 following militant commander Burhan Wani’s killing in Kashmir, the then-OIC Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani could only “express sorrow.”

Therefore, the language of the OIC’s condemnation this week is a clear diplomatic triumph for Pakistan, which has seen its narrative on Kashmir being increasingly ignored around the world, including Muslim states.

And at a time while militancy is being universally shunned as terrorism, for the OIC to describe Indian state action as such provides legitimacy to Islamabad’s Islamist narrative – even if the backing has come from a group that represents Muslim states.

A day after OIC condemned Indian atrocities in held Kashmir, Pakistan’s Senate (on Tuesday) asked the government to appoint Special Envoys to raise the Kashmir issue at all international fora.

Pakistan will be looking to cash in on the diplomatic brownie points that it has won against India. Pakistan’s leaders are making incremental successes with their narratives on Kashmir unrest and its longstanding position on the territorial dispute with India.

Islamabad has also been able to reform its overall position on Kashmir with its latest stance based purely on humanitarian grounds. The  OIC echoing its narrative will mean Pakistan will be continuing to call out human rights abuses in Kashmir around the world.

On Wednesday midnight Indian standard time, President’s rule will come into force in occupied Kashmir from after expiry of six months of Governor’s rule.

The Governor dissolved the assembly citing horse-trading and lack of stability to form a government as the reasons.

President’s rule comes for the first time since 1996, after Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed a proclamation ordering imposition of central rule in the occupied territory from Wednesday midnight, PTI reported. The Governor’s rule ended on December amid political crisis in the occupied territory that simmers with a new normal—protests led by the young and the females calling for self-determination

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