Sushma faces Congress backlash after OIC resolutions

The Congress was quick to condemn Swaraj’s participation in the OIC meet. PTI

A day after minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj addressed the inaugural meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi, the organisation passed two resolutions — one on the Kashmir issue and another on the India-Pakistan ‘peace process.’

The first resolution called Kashmir the ‘core dispute’ between India and Pakistan and expressed concern over rights violations in ‘Indian occupied Kashmir.’ It also termed the killing of terrorist commander Burhan Wani as ‘extra-judicial’ and spoke of ‘Indian terrorism’ in the state.

The OIC called out ‘intensified Indian barbarities since July 2016’ and ‘illegal detentions and disappearances’ in Jammu and Kashmir.

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The second resolution welcomed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer of dialogue with India, and the gesture of releasing Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. It called for restraint and de-escalation and also expressed concern over the violation of Pakistani airspace and affirmed Islamabad’s right to self-defence.

Backlash from the Congress was swift, with the party condemning Swaraj’s participation in the OIC meet. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “The NDA government sold national interest in Abu Dhabi by participating in the OIC and getting such a hostile resolution in response.”

“We would like to ask the PM of India and the External Affairs Minister: is this your diplomatic achievement that you got India labelled as a terrorist state; you got India labelled as an occupier in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala called Swaraj’s visit a ‘diplomatic faux pas.’

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