New Delhi/Islamabad, February 7: In a setback for Pakistan, Saudi Arabia is not keen on holding a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) on Kashmir, reported a Pakistani daily newspaper, Dawn, on Thursday. Since India withdrew Jammu and Kashmir's special status in August last year, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been pushing for the foreign ministers’ meeting of OIC, the second largest intergovernmental body after the UN. Pakistan Parliament Passes Resolution Asking India to Revoke Its Decision on Kashmir.
Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, appeared reluctant to convey the OIC meeting on Kashmir. Instead, Riyadh has proposed to hold a parliamentary forum or speakers' conference from Muslim countries and a joint meeting on Palestine and Kashmir issues, Dawn reported. Pakistan, however, is insisting on the foreign ministers’ meeting. Khan recently voiced frustration over the OIC’s silence on Kashmir while speaking at a think-tank during his visit to Malaysia. Pakistan's Parliament Faces Ruckus as Imran Khan Skips Discussion on Kashmir Row.
"The reason is that we have no voice and there is a total division amongst [us]. We can’t even come together as a whole on the OIC meeting on Kashmir," he said. Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while pitching for the CFM meeting, had also said that it was needed to send a clear message from Ummah on the Kashmir issue. After Pakistan refused to attend the Kuala Lumpur summit under Saudi pressure, Riyadh had softened its stand on Ismlamabad's proposal.
Saudi Arabia sent its foreign minister to thank Pakistan for staying away from the event, but that flexibility was short-lived and Riyadh now wants to avoid the CFM meeting on Kashmir. Saudi's support is crucial as the OIC is dominated by the Kingdom and other gulf countries. Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue since India revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status.