NEW DELHI: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will not be attending the foreign ministers' meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states amid ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan. Qureshi said that he will not be attending it as a 'matter of principle' since External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj is the 'Guest of Honour' of the meeting. The organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states is an influential grouping of 57 countries.
"I wrote to the OIC to take back the invitation to India and told them that if they won't be able to do this, I won't be able to participate. I have decided that I won't be going to OIC. We have 19 resolutions there which also includes Kashmir issue, therefore our lower level officials will be present to defend Pakistan's resolution. In short, if someone tries to give India an observer status we can oppose it," Qureshi said.
Swaraj is in Abu Dhabi to attend the inaugural plenary of the two-day meeting which will be held on Friday. It is for the first time that India has been invited to an OIC meeting as the guest of honour.
Pakistan had tried to get Swaraj 'disinvited' from the OIC meet following India's air strike on the terror camp in Pakistan. The OIC has usually been supportive of Pakistan and often sided with Islamabad on the Kashmir issue. However, it has not conceded to Pakistan's reported demands this time. In 1969, the OIC had disinvited India from its conference in 1969 in Morocco at Pakistan's behest.
The MEA said Foreign Minister of United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan invited Swaraj as the 'guest of honour' to address the inaugural plenary and that India was happy to accept the invitation.