Jeddah: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed concerns on the controversial citizenship law in India. In a statement on Sunday, the general secretariat of the Jeddah-based OIC – a block of 57 member Islamic countries led by the Saudi Arabia – said: The OIC “…expresses its concern over the recent developments pertaining to both the issue of citizenship rights and the Babri Masjid case. It reiterates its call to ensure the safety of the Muslim minority and the protection of Islamic holy places in India”.
The statement added that the OIC was closely following the recent developments and said that it “reaffirms the crucial importance of upholding the principles and obligations enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and relevant international covenants that guarantee the rights of minorities without any discrimination”.
The Muslim bloc also warned that any action contrary to these principles and obligations may lead to “further tensions”, as well as may have “serious implications” on peace and security across the region. The OIC statement came at the time Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar visiting OIC member countries of Iran and Oman.
The OIC was founded on Sept. 25, 1969 in Morocco in reaction to an arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in August of that year. It has 57 member countries and is headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The organisation consists of oil rich as well as other countries. It also has 11 observers which includes United Nations, European Union, Cyprus, Thailand, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Russia.
The Pakistan dominated Muslim nation group has uneasy relations with India for a long over Kashmir issue. However, India is having good bilateral relations with most of it member countries in general and Gulf region in particular.
According to statistics released by the Indian Ministry of Commerce for the year 2018, India’s trade with OIC countries stood at US$262 billion, comprising $91 billion worth of exports and imports of $172 billion. The United Arab Emirates consistently ranks as India’s top trade partner, while other countries in the Gulf region also have a substantial share, constituting around 31.25% of India’s total trade.
The value of bilateral investment between India with OIC countries is $3.352 billion, comprising an inflow of $802 million and outflow of $2.55 billion worth of investment during the period.