OIC invite to Sushma Swaraj major diplomatic victory for India, setback for Pakistan. By Farooq Ganderbali

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The invitation by United Arab Emirates (UAE) to India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to attend the Foreign Ministers’ meet of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), set to take place in Abu Dhabi on March 1-2, is a major diplomatic victory for India and a setback for Pakistan. Sushma Swaraj has been invited as the Guest of Honour to address the inaugural plenary and that India has happily to accept the invitation.

The move is a major blow to Pakistan that has consistently opposed India’s entry into the grouping despite its having the third-largest Muslim population in the world and strong relationship with West Asian and Muslim majority nations. In the last two-decades, Pakistan frequently used the OIC platform to target India on the so-called Kashmir issue. Pakistan and its allies in the Arab world have also blocked attempts to give “Observer” status to India.  The OIC is a 57-member grouping of Muslim majority nations.

However, the situation is changing in the world and after West and other nations, Muslim world too has started recognising how Pakistan was the sources of terror not only for India but for other countries as well. The invitation to India by the OIC comes at a time when India has been mounting diplomatic offensive against Pakistan to isolate it internationally following the Pulwama terror attack in which 44 CRPF personnel were martyred. Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed the responsibility of the Pulwama attack.

This is a historic victory for India, a major triumph for Indian diplomacy and a major setback for Pakistan. The OIC used to be a platform for Pakistan to abuse India. This invitation is the result of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outreach to both the UAE and Saudi Arabia. With India moving to recraft and consolidate its ties with major Muslim countries in recent years, countries such as the UAE and Turkey besides Saudi Arabia have responded to New Delhi’s overtures. Last year, Turkey joined hands with Bangladesh to seek reforms of the 57-nation grouping including a suggestion to include India.

India is adopting a complete zero-tolerance policy for terrorism and today Pakistan has been isolated all over the world. It is India’s major strategic victory.

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