LAHORE - The OIC’s lack of reaction to the Modi government’s unconstitutional annexation of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has been totally disappointing both for Pakistan as well as Kashmiris.

Barring a few countries – that can be counted on fingertips – the rest remain tight-lipped, careful enough that their ties with India are not affected. Even the countries that claim to be very close to Pakistan have not shown the kind of resentment they were expected to. It was hoped that they would condemn the Indian move in strongest possible terms and mount pressure on it to reverse it without delay. However, they have chosen not to do anything that could annoy the extremist Indian government or affect their commercial interests.

The OIC’s indifference to the gross violation of Kashmiris’ rights, recognised through the UN resolutions, has exposed the Ummah’s so-called unity, which is a very bad sign and doesn’t augur well.

The statements made by leaders of Pakistan’s two most important opposition parties in the National Assembly on Wednesday are reflective of the feelings of the people as a whole.

For example, PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal criticised Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s tepid response to the Kashmir crisis and said that if the body does not agree to call a session on the issue, Pakistan should “immediately announce its exit”.

Islamic countries must expel Indian diplomats, suspend trade with Delhi

The leader from Narowal said: “We don’t need a dead forum that cannot even call a session on [occupied] Kashmir.” He appealed to the foreign minister to visit at least 10 to 15 countries over the next 15 days and inform foreign governments about the situation in occupied Kashmir “so that the world can know that this is a panic situation”.

Ahsan Iqbal is the secretary general of the PML-N, the largest opposition party, and in the absence of the Sharif brothers (who are in London for the treatment of the former prime minister) he is the senior most leader of this party.

Likewise, PPP leader Hina Rabbani Khar, who is also a former foreign minister, said the government should “at least try to convene a meeting of the OIC foreign ministers”. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said what the government is expected to say to defend its policies and performance and appease the opposition.

He said the Kashmir issue has been internationalised after 1965 due to effective and prompt diplomacy of the government, adding that this issue has been raised and discussed in US Congress, EU parliament, UNSC, OIC, and parliaments of various countries.

Whatever he says the views expressed by the leaders of the two opposition parties are the real public sentiment.

People of Pakistan want to see the OIC as a formidable body that can safeguard the rights of Muslims in any part of the world.

The suggestion that Pakistan should quit in case the OIC remains indifferent to the Kashmir cause has been made out of sheer frustration.

The leaders of the Islamic countries should not forget that if Pakistan bids farewell, the OIC will further lose its worth at the global level. Pakistan is the only Muslim country that is one of the seven nuclear powers and may rightly be called the pride of the Islamic world. And if other countries don’t stand by it on the Kashmir issue, it will amount to leaving the Kashmiris alone to face the Indian atrocities.

The spirit of Muslim brotherhood demands that the Islamic countries should employ all means to mount pressure on India to undo its Aug 5 step. They should immediately suspend trade with India unless it gives back Kashmiris their rights. Indian envoys should also be deported from the Islamic states to send a strong message to New Delhi.

If they failed to respond jointly to this situation, then no Islamic country should feel secure. Anything can be done against them – on false pretexts. Invasion of countries like Iraq and Afghanistan on concocted grounds and the consequent sufferings of the people of these countries should be eye-opener for the Ummah.