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Amid Indo-Pak tensions, Islamabad threatens to boycott OIC meet if Sushma Swaraj attends event

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 27 February 2019, 08:38 PM
Sushma Swaraj has been invited as
Sushma Swaraj has been invited as "guest of honour" at the inaugural session of the foreign ministers' conclave in Abu Dhabi next month

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said Pakistan will not attend a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) scheduled for next month if Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj participates in it. Sushma Swaraj has been invited as "guest of honour" at the inaugural session of the foreign ministers' conclave in Abu Dhabi next month. "I have no reservations with OIC or any other Islamic country. “My reservations are with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's attendance at the OIC meeting," Geo news quoted Qureshi as saying.

"If Swaraj attends the meeting then I will not participate in it," Shah Mehmood Qureshi said. The OIC is a 57-member grouping of Muslim majority nations.  

Earlier, United Arab Emirates has invited foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to attend the foreign ministers’ meet of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) States, set to take place in Abu Dhabi on 1-2 March — the first such invite in five decades.

Swaraj has been invited by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, foreign minister of the UAE, to address the plenary. Welcoming the move, the statement said: “We see this invitation as the desire of the enlightened leadership of the UAE to go beyond our rapidly growing close bilateral ties and forge a true multifaceted partnership at the multilateral and international level."

India shot down Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 fighter jet after an airspace violation in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nowshera sector on Wednesday morning. The fighter jet was shot down in Indian retaliatory fire 3 KM within Pakistan territory in Lam valley, Nowshera sector, news agency ANI. The latest development comes amid reports of Pakistan violating airspace in the Rajouri district. According to news agency PTI, "The jets entered into Indian air space over Nowshera sector this morning." The Pakistani jet was immediately pushed back by Indian planes on air patrol but not before dropping bombs. Nowshera is a border town in Jammu.

While details of this retaliation are yet be ascertained by either the Indian Air Force or the Ministry of Defence, contrary claims are being made by the officials across the border. Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, spokesperson Pakistan armed forces, claimed that, “PAF shot down two Indian aircraft inside Pakistani airspace. “Another starling claim Maj Gen Ghafoor said that, “One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.” 

First Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 02:32 PM
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