OIC debacle

Giving a policy statement in the joint session of the parliament, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Queshi informed the lawmakers of his not attending in protest the OIC moot in UAE. In a current affairs programme of a Private TV Channel, he had already made known the stance of Pakistan to boycott the OIC foreign minister conference if invitation to Indian External Affairs Minster Ms. Shusma Surak is not revoked. The host country may have invited the Indian Minister because of its fast growing economic cooperation with India. It is pertinent to mention that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the given the privilege to address a big gathering Indian nationals during his visit of UAE last year.

The foreign Minister has informed his UAE counterpart in writing expressing displeasure over the decision to invite India to a conference of an organisation which consists of Islamic countries alone. It may be recalled that after the burning of Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by Israelis, Morocco had also extended invitation to India to attend the summit Islamic countries convened in Rabat in 1969 because of latter’s  lobbying on the plea that it has second largest Muslim population after Pakistan. But the invitation was revoked then due resentment shown by Pakistan. The UAE rulers should have not ignored the atrocities being perpetrated on innocent Kashmiries in the Indian held Kashmir.

India capitalized on the diplomatic inertia of previous PML-N government and extended the sway of its economic diplomacy in the Gulf States and Middle East. The appointment of cronies and individuals alien to the difficult art of diplomacy pushed the country to diplomatic isolation. Playing a second fiddle role by the former Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif versus his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the diplomatic front damaged the image of Pakistan even in the Islamic countries. In contrast India posted skillful diplomats in Gulf States and Middle East to strengthen bilateral relation in almost all fields. Apart from professional diplomacy, the Indian diplomats pursued public diplomacy through the Indian nationals involved in business and jobs in various companies in the Gulf countries. No such services for the country were made by the political appointees’ in Pakistan’s embassies despite the presence of strong Pakistani community in the Gulf States. India’s attendance of OIC conference and presentation of anti-Pakistan narrative by Ms. Shusma Suraj in her speech without naming names is no small diplomatic fiasco for Pakistan on this forum. It is the time of introspection for the ruling leadership of Pakistan. Does it the price Pakistan paid because of its Aqama seeking political leadership for their lust to build offshore assets with black money stashed away through money laundering?

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