Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has announced that he will not attend a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) being hosted by the United Arab Emirates on March 1-2.
Addressing a joint session of the Parliament on Friday, Qureshi urged the OIC to postpone the Abu Dhabi conference due to the recent escalation between Pakistan and India.
“The invitation was sent without consultation. Hence, I have decided to not attend the session,” Qureshi told the lawmakers.
Earlier, Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani wrote a letter to member-countries of OIC, urging them to withdraw an invitation to India for attending Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Abu Dhabi.
In the letter, the chairman stated that the decision to invite Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj as the guest of honor at the 46th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in Abu Dhabi on Friday and Saturday has raised genuine apprehensions and critical voices among people of Pakistan and their elected representatives.
The Chairman Senate said India continued its occupation of the disputed territory by denying the Kashmiris their right to self-determination under the UN Security Council resolutions. He expressed the confidence that the leadership of the OIC member countries would play an effective role in withdrawal of the invitation to India.
Meanwhile, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says her country does not wish to see further escalation with Pakistan.
Swaraj, who is in China with her counterparts from Beijing and Moscow, termed Tuesday’s strikes by Indian aircraft within the Pakistani airspace as “pre-emptive” and said India will continue to act with “responsibility and restraint.”
"India does not wish to see further escalation of this situation. India will continue to act with responsibility and restraint,” she said.
The development came after Pakistan Air Force shot down Indian two aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace and arrested one pilot.
“In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet. “One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area,” he added.