Pakistan skips OIC meeting in UAE in protest over India invite

Pakistan skips OIC meeting in UAE in protest over India invite
Pakistan's foreign minister has said he will be skipping a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation over India's attendance.
2 min read
01 March, 2019
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he will skip the OIC meeting in Abu Dhabi [AFP]

Pakistan's foreign minister has said that he will be skipping a meeting of foreign ministers from the world's leading Islamic organisation in the United Arab Emirates on Friday in protest against the host's decision to invite India, a non-member.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told Pakistan's parliament that his decision to boycott the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation meeting in Abu Dhabi was over UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan's refusal to withdraw the invitation to India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Qureshi said India is neither a member of the 57-nation organisation nor has observer status.

Tensions between the two neighbours have been running high since Indian aircraft crossed into Pakistan on Tuesday carrying out what India called a pre-emptive strike against militants. India alleges that the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group was behind a Feb. 14 suicide bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed 40 Indian troops.

Pakistan retaliated to the Indian strike by shooting down two Indian aircraft Wednesday and capturing a pilot.

Pakistan has said that it is preparing to release the pilot on Friday.

Blistering cross-border attacks across the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir however continued for a fourth straight day, even as the two sides sought to defuse their most serious confrontation in two decades.