The recent aggressive movement by India to distort the fragile peace in the region has remained a great concern not only for Pakistan and India, but also for South Asia and world powers. There is no doubt that peaceful dialogue is the ultimate solution to all unprecedented issues, but at the same time, no one can undermine the fact that religious identities actually provide a solid base for creating war hysteria. The recent OIC conference aimed at discussing all strategic, political and social issues being faced by Muslim ummah. The conference also invited India as a special guest (much before Pulwama attack in Indian side of Kashmir), to promote OIC’s network beyond Muslim countries.

Though India is not member of OIC, its “guest” appearance in the conference was endorsed by almost all member countries. Post Pakistan-India border clash from Feb. 26 to 28, Pakistan decided not to attend the conference due to the unsuitability of India in the event. I believe, Pakistan lost its chance of placing its voice in front of India to initiate a proper peaceful dialogue. At this time - when Pakistan is already struggling to makethe world realize that it has shunned all proxies and does not fight anyone else’s war anymore - I believe, the OIC conference could have been the best source of airing Pakistan’s narrative to India and the Muslim world. Former president Asif Ali Zardari rightly pointed out that the members of OIC are older friends to Pakistan than to India; therefore, Pakistan should have talked to the members to seek their vote for Pakistan’s stance towards peace in South Aisa.

Pakistan also needs to understand that it is already in a very fragile situation at the diplomatic front, at a time when world powers are also struggling to help Pakistan get out of its security and economic crisis. Therefore, when Pakistan seeks meaningful dialogue with India, I believe the OIC platform could have provided Pakistan-India a proper environment to discuss their issues bilaterally. The environment could have been better for Pakistan by attending the conference, rather than by making telephone calls to the Indian prime minister thrice and not getting any response.

JAVED ALI KALHORO,

Islamabad, March 1.