Pakistan's diplomatic efforts go in vain as Saudi Arabia unwilling to back OIC ministers’ meeting on Kashmir

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 06, 2020, 11.21 PM(IST)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at Davos. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Looks like — Imran Khan's stunts haven't paid off. Driving the Saudi prince around has taken the prime minister nowhere.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran khan went to Malaysia promising to unite the Muslim world but his balancing act may have back-fired.

Imran has slammed the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation for failing to speak in one voice over Kashmir as Saudi Arabia continues to show reluctance to accept Islamabad’s request for an immediate meeting on the issue.

Pakistan wants an OIC meeting on Kashmir and Saudi Arabia has reportedly rejected the request.

The Pakistan media says that no progress has been made by the council of OIC foreign ministers on Pakistan's request.

The reason — Saudi Arabia isn't game for this. They won't back Pakistan's cause. This is significant — because Saudi Arabia is the de-facto leader of the OIC.

Looks like — Imran Khan's stunts haven't paid off. Driving the Saudi prince around has taken the prime minister nowhere. That is not to say that the kingdom never backed Imran Khan.

In December — after his absence from the Kuala Lumpur summit of Muslim nations. Saudi Arabia had shown flexibility on the proposal of a forum on Kashmir.

This Saudi flexibility, however, was short-lived. Riyadh has now done a u-turn. Imran Khan's Malaysia visit has turned into a diplomatic disaster.

Turns out — Saudi Arabia was not taken into confidence. Reports of Saudi disapproval had emerged earlier too.

What probably adds to their reluctance -- is this confession by Imran Khan on divisions within the OIC.

“The reason is that we have no voice and there is a total division amongst [us]. We can’t even come together as a whole on the OIC meeting on Kashmir," Imra Khan said indirectly chiding Saudi Arabia and UAE for diluting Pakistan’s stand.

This may have been enough to miff the self-proclaimed custodians of the Muslim community.

The message from Riyadh is clear — domestic political narratives cannot drive foreign policy.