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Pakistan’s Attempt To Form Group Of OIC Envoys At UN Thwarted By UAE, Maldives

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Pakistan’s attempt to form a group of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) envoys at the United Nations (UN) to counter the rampant Islamophobia was thwarted by United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Maldives.

According to a news report of journalist Baqir Sajjad Ali published in DAWN, a senior diplomatic source said that Pakistan’s permanent representative at the UN Munir Akram highlighted the issue of Islamophobia at a recent virtual meeting of the envoys of OIC member countries at the UN.

The Pakistan envoy specifically highlighted the plight of the Muslims in India and the people of occupied Kashmir, who are suffering at the hands of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government. He told the meeting that Islamophobia in India had become more pronounced during the Covid-19 pandemic and recalled the actions taken by Modi government to change demography of occupied Kashmir by allowing non-Kashmiris to take up permanent residence in the valley.

In view of these facts, he called for setting up of a group of OIC countries to consider joint actions for countering Islamophobia. The UAE, Maldives opposed the proposal for the group on Islamophobia. Ambassador Akram cautioned the OIC members against being deceived by India.

Maldivian media reported that on the occasion the country’s envoy Thilmeeza Hussain, rejected ‘singling out’ of India and said: “Accusing Delhi of Islamophobia will be factually incorrect and detrimental to religious harmony in South Asia.”

The newspaper reported that the UAE envoy, who was chairing the mee­ting, rejected the Pakistan’s request for an informal group on Islam­ophobia saying it was the mandate of the OIC foreign ministers to constitute such groups.

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A Pakistani diplomat, who has remained posted at the UN, said formation of such groups was common even at the OIC level and they could be constituted by the envoys too. He said these groups helped in lobbying efforts, operated as pressure groups and could move resolutions together.

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