The 46th session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) is in progress. However, Pakistan’s decision of not attending the meeting is a harsh but right move after knowing that Sushma Swaraj, Indian external affairs minister, will be the guest of honour at its inaugural session. United Arab Emirates (UAE) could have entertained Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, request to withdraw the invitation to India in the light of the recent Indian incursion in Pakistan’s territory. Pakistan’s demand is not unjust, as India in conflict with one of the founding member states cannot form any partnership with the organisation.

UAE and other member states should have realised it earlier to avoid the awkward situation that the representatives will face during the session, as Pakistan will not be participating in it. Granted that it was hard to retract the invitation as the decision was taken before Pulwama attack, however, it was not impossible for UAE to withdraw the invitation by stating that allowing India after having a conflict with Pakistan and without consulting all parties to the session violated the rules of the OIC.

That much being said on Pakistan’s refusal to send its foreign minister to OIC’s on-going session, it is also important to not ignore OIC’s intention to grant India the observer status. For granting India an observer status will mean that the organisation is overlooking the abject record of human rights violations in the occupied territory of Kashmir – not forgetting that many of the 19 pending resolutions presented by Pakistan are related to the Kashmir conflict. If India gets the observer status in the OIC, the Kashmir cause will receive another blow. The international community in general and the OIC in particular need to pick a side when it comes to matters of such importance. Remaining neutral in such a situation shows the irrelevance of these forums.