NEW DELHI: Bangladesh’s call to induct India and other nations with large Muslim populations as observers to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has drawn a sharp retort from Pakistan.
Although India has over 10 per cent of the world’s Muslim population, Pakistan blocked India’s original request to join on the ground that the membership rules stipulate that an aspiring member cannot have a conflict with an existing member. Pakistan also uses the platform to try and internationalise the Kashmir issue, without much success.
After the 45th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on Sunday, Bangladesh’s minister of state for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said a proposal to include India as an observer was made as part of reforming the organisation.
“India is a big country with a huge Muslim population which is bigger than the total population of several Muslim countries,” he said.
In a statement on Sunday evening, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry pointed out that “just before conclusion of the Conference, the host country circulated text of Dhaka Declaration. It only reflected the views of the host country.”