Sushma Swaraj raises issue of terrorism at OIC meet, quotes Rig Veda

With India’s attendance at the OIC for the first time, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday announced that he would not attend a meeting over the grouping's failure to rescind the invitation to his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

Sushma Swaraj raises issue of terrorism at OIC meet, quotes Rig Veda
EAM Sushma Swaraj at OIC meet in UAE capital Abu Dhabi.
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 01 Mar 2019 02:30 PM
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sushma Swaraj raises terrorism issue at OIC meet in UAE
  • India has always embraced and found it easy to embrace pluralism since it is embedded in the oldest Sanskrit religious text “The Rig Veda” and I quote "एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति", which means “God is One but learned men describe Him in many ways", Sushma Swaraj said
  • Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he will not attend the meeting over the grouping's failure to rescind invitation to Swaraj.
Abu Dhabi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today attended the foreign ministers' meet of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states where she raised the issue of terrorism, amidst Indo-Pak tensions following the Pulwama terror attack.

“Terrorism is destroying lives, destabilizing regions and putting the world at great peril. Terror reach is growing and the toll it is taking is increasing,” Sushma said.


The minister said the fight against terrorism is  not a confrontation against any religion. “Just as Islam literally means peace, none of the 99 names of Allah mean violence. Similarly, every religion in the world stands for peace, compassion & brotherhood.”

Asserting that terrorism and extremism bear different names and labels, Sushma said, “It uses diverse causes. But in each case, it is driven by distortion of religion, and a misguided belief in its power to succeed.”

Further Sushma said this is not a clash of civilizations or cultures, but a contest of ideas and ideals.  “As PM Narendra Modi has often said, it is a struggle between the values of humanism and the forces of inhumanity.”

With India’s attendance at the OIC for the first time, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday announced that he would not attend a meeting over the grouping's failure to rescind the invitation to his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.



Swaraj has been invited to the OIC meeting as a guest of honour despite strong protest from Pakistan. Qureshi informed Parliament that he would not be attending the conference in the UAE on March 1-2.

Mentioning that the "UAE has always helped Pakistan in difficult times", Qureshi noted with regret that despite Pakistan's protest, the OIC's invitation to Swaraj was not rescinded.

Vacant chair at the OIC meet which was to be occupied by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

"There was no consultation over the OIC invitation to Indian foreign minister. India is neither a member nor an observer of the OIC," Qureshi pointed out, adding that he sent two letters — the latest by Friday — to the UAE calling upon the body to withdraw its invitation to the Indian foreign minister.

Qureshi informed Parliament that he requested the OIC to either rescind the invitation or postpone the session in view of the prevailing situation, neither of which was done.

"I have [therefore] decided not to attend OIC Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Abu Dhabi," the foreign minister announced.

However, a lower-level delegation from Pakistan will attend the OIC session, Qureshi said. The delegation will also staunchly oppose any move to grant observer status to India at the OIC.

Qureshi's remarks came amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan after the February 14 Pulwama attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed that left 40 CRPF personnel dead, which was followed by an airstrike by India on a Jaish training camp in Pakistan's Balakot.

(With additional information from PTI)

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