Maldives backs India again: Thwarts attempt to hold SAARC summit in Pakistan
New Delhi, Sep 26: Maldives stood up for India and helped block a bid to hold the SAARC summit in Pakistan.
Islamabad is the host for the 19th SAARC summit that was to take place in 2016.
However, it remains suspended after India's call to boycott the event due to the Uri terror attack that was carried out by terrorists from Pakistan.
Nepal which is the current SAARC chair had put the stalled summit process on the agenda for the meeting of the SAARC foreign ministers. During his address, foreign minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid said that at this point, we are preoccupied with dealing with COVID-19. We do not think it is an appropriate time to discuss the time of the summit, he said. The proposal by Nepal had to be dropped.
In May an attempt by Pakistan to create an informal group of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Islamophobia had been thwarted by Maldives and UAE.
This came in the wake of Male telling the OIC that singling out India on Islamophobia would be factually incorrect and also detrimental to religious harmony. Male told the OIC in an address this week that singling out India for Islamophobia would not be factually incorrect. It would also be detrimental to religious harmony in South Asia, Male had also said.
This is a welcome sign for India especially at a time when the OIC has stepped up attacks on India on alleged discrimination against Muslims and also on developments at Jammu and Kashmir.
Male also made it clear to the OIC that it would not support any action which singles out India. Thilmeeza Hussain, Permanent Representative of Maldives in New York said that her country firmly stood against Islamophobia and Xenophobia or any form of violence to promote political or any other agenda. However, we also believe that targeting a specific country would be like side-stepping the issue. Therefore, Maldives cannot support any action within the OIC that singles out or targets India, she also said.
Isolated statements by motivated people and disinformation campaigns on social media should be construed as representative feelings of 1.3 billion people. She also said that the world had seen an alarming rise in the culture of hatred, prejudice and that violence had been exploited as a tool to promote political and other ideologies and agenda.
The OIC in a recent statement had asked the international community to gear up efforts to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir issue in accordance with the resolutions of the UNSC.
It also said that this should be done as per the aspirations of the people of Kashmir.
The OIC's human rights commission had rejected as illegal India's decision to change the domicile certificate rules in Jammu and Kashmir.