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Pakistan Rejects ‘Incorrect’ Reports on OIC Virtual Moot

by Newsweek Pakistan

Dismissal comes as Islamabad’s bid to establish anti-Islamophobia group at U.N. foiled by U.A.E. and Maldives

Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Wednesday rejected ‘incorrect’ media reports on the results of a virtual meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) last week, claiming a large number of envoys had supported the need for a coordinated position on Islamophobia at the U.N.—despite the measure failing due to opposition by the U.A.E. and the Maldives.

In a statement, the Foreign Office claimed that the May 20 meeting had been apprised about the rising wave of Islamophobia, and state-sponsored violence against Muslims, in India by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. Munir Akram. It claimed that a large number of OIC ambassadors had shared the implications of rising Islamophobia in India and supported the need for a coordinated OIC position on Islamophobia at the U.N.

However, Maldivian media reported that envoy Thilmeeza Hussain had rejected Pakistan’s “singling out of India,” adding that accusing Delhi of Islamophobia would be factually incorrect and detrimental to religious harmony is South Asia.

Similarly, the U.A.E. envoy chairing the meeting also rejected Akram’s request to setup an informal group on Islamophobia, saying it was the mandate of the OIC foreign ministers to constitute such groups.

In its statement, the Foreign Office sought to highlight the OIC’s support for its measures—likely to bolster claims by Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi that the entire world was united in its views on the Islamophobia perpetrated by the Narendra Modi-led Indian government.

“Representing the collective voice of the Muslim Ummah, the OIC has repeatedly expressed serious concern on Islamophobia and targeted violence against Muslims in India, as manifested in various decisions and resolutions of Islamic Summits and Council of Foreign Ministers,” it said, adding that strong statements had been issued on Delhi’s anti-Muslim actions, including the targeted killing of Muslims in Delhi, the Babri Masjid verdict, and demonization of Muslims in the context of COVID-19.

“Besides OIC, the U.N. human rights machinery, the international human rights organizations, and the international media have taken cognizance of the situation and expressed concerns in this regard,” it added.

Earlier, India media had alleged that Pakistan’s bid to “discredit” India at the OIC had failed, with several outlets claiming this reflected a new high in bilateral ties between the Maldives and India.

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