By Ulvi Ahmadi
Everything started by stripping off the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 5 August 2019 by Indian Central Government. The economic growth of India, challenges in Pakistan and primarily lack of international attention paved the way for India to go further.
India adopted Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Order on 1 April 2020. It is the second step of India within one year that can flare up the tension inside Kashmir. The main powers of the international stage are focused on the battle against coronavirus, this condition made an opportunity for India to transform the situation in Kashmir conflict in favor of itself.
According to the new order which set up new domicile law, the population from outside of Jammu and Kashmir can reside there. When the Himalayan region had special status it was impossible to change the demographic situation in Kashmir because of the prohibition of residing for foreigners. Reorganization order offers such chances for the Indian Central Government.
The new domicile law was rejected by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the statement was given. The 57-membered organization had made the same step on 5 August last year. Nevertheless, it had no effect to extinguish the flame of Indian nationalistic authority to step back.
OIC posed immediate response
The second-largest intergovernmental organization immediately responded to the decision of India by rejecting it. OIC issued a statement for showing its position to the new domicile law. The organization expressed deep concern over the occasion which can lead the demographic change. OIC viewed it illegal action and called the acceleration of international efforts.
OIC recognized the Himalayan region as a disputed territory, it means India has no right to interfere judiciary of Jammu and Kashmir. By adopting this order, India violated the law accepted by OIC. In the eye of the OIC, India is an aggressor that the 5 August decision cemented it.
Organization of Islamic Cooperation has not arranged a meeting for the case, noting the coronavirus, at least videoconference could be arranged
Not only OIC, but also Kashmiri activists and political analysts alarmed that this decision can lead growth of danger in the region. The President of Azad Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan welcomed the statement and called OIC to cooperate with UN on this occasion. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan rejected Indian new domicile law. Noting that, India and Pakistan both are nuclear-power countries, the imagining of the scope of the conflict is not hard.
Organization of Islamic Cooperation has not arranged a meeting for the case, noting the coronavirus, at least videoconference could be arranged. Pakistan seems losing truth to the support of OIC. Indian media claims that Saudi Arabia rejected plea of Pakistan to discuss Kashmir dispute in the OIC session on 6 February this year but now OIC came forward very clearly and this credit goes to diplomacy of Pakistan.
Lack of actions can result in the unavoidable problem
If the early diagnosis and prevention are implemented even the deadliest disease can be healed. The activities and responses had not been enough to prevent the further negative development of the conflict. Indian current authority doesn’t seem to step back in Kashmir dispute and they attempt to take full control of the region.
Kashmir conflict is not the only disputed conflict in the interest of OIC. There includes several such as Karabakh and Palestinian conflicts
The lack of effort derives from the lack of unity within the organization. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the main countries showing a cold attitude to the conflict. Both countries hold positive relations with India based thanks to huge economic relations. Both countries have been neutral to the revoking Article 370.
If the organization will not show a strong response, the same actions could be happened in other conflicts where OIC is interested. Kashmir conflict is not the only disputed conflict in the interest of OIC. There includes several such as Karabakh and Palestinian conflicts. If such steps in Kashmir will not be stopped the same could be implemented in these conflicts.
The soft stance of OIC can undermine the organization’s status and effectiveness. Nevertheless, OIC has strong tools to ease the tension between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute. We should remember that Saudi Arabia and UAE has strong economic and diplomatic relations with India and Pakistan.
Last year, Pakistan attempted to ease the Saudi-Iran conflict which was near to the military confrontation. After Pakistan’s interference, the tense occasions were not reported. Saudi Arabia can return the favor for Pakistan attempting to solve the problem. The solution of the Kashmir dispute is also beneficial for Saudi Arabia indirectly.
The trust between Pakistan and India descended one more level by Reorganization Order. When disputed sides have no trust, the interference of the third party becomes unavoidable. Saudi Arabia could be a potential mediator for disputed sides.
Saudi Arabia can offer a place for negotiation as good offices or can be actively joined to the process as a mediator. Saudi Arabia and UAE can interfere positively within OIC. These two heavyweights of OIC are the only countries that have positive relations with both Pakistan and India.
Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt have enough voice in the international political stage, so the unification of efforts can raise the dispute to the international level. OIC’s other possible offer could be to internationalize the conflict. 57-membered OIC is the second intergovernmental organization and member states possess economic and military tools.
Inaction and lack of efforts for the solution of Kashmir conflict could result in catastrophically for not only South Asia but the whole world. The risk is rising instead of falling. Organization of Islamic Cooperation is satisfied with giving statement not solid actions have been made.
OIC intends to maintain peace in the territories of member states and it encompasses the joint efforts on the conflict resolution. Unity is the much-needed factor among the member states. If the statements are not heard from the opposite side and no necessary reaction has been done, concrete steps should be made.
It is obvious that Indian current government tends towards nationalism and OIC’s work will be hard but as we stated above the possible way is to actively attend and revive the truth between disputed sides. OIC can also urge international attention to the conflict. The main reason why Kashmir has not been solved is because of the lack of international attention. If OIC will lose another chance and allow India for further actions, the disastrous result is waiting for us in the future.
Writer of this article Ulvi Ahmedli is Baku Based Research Journalist who has specialization in Regional Affairs and Economy. The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.