In a move that is sure to pinch Pakistan, Turkey has backed India’s bid for an observer status in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a forum of Islamic nations in the world, Economic Times has reported.

Turkey’s backing comes as a shot in the arm for India, as the forum is often used by Pakistan to peddle its propaganda against India. The forum consists of 57 member nations and several observer states. The forum describes itself as a “collective voice of the Muslim world”, but has lately been criticised as several nations with large number of Muslims are excluded from it.

India’s bid has been strongly backed by neighbouring Bangladesh, whose foreign minister AH Mahmud Ali said, “A number of countries – not OIC members – have a large number of Muslims as their citizens. Muslims may be a minority in those countries, but in terms of numbers they often exceed the total population of many OIC member countries.”

Turkey backing India will further strengthen India’s case as it is considered one of the leading powers in the Islamic world. It has historically been an ally of Pakistan and the change in stance represents the changing geopolitics in the world.

The OIC, in a resolution on Kashmir last year, had "reaffirmed continued support to the people of held Kashmir in their struggle for the realisation of their right to self-determination."

The resolution, pushed by Pakistan after the killing of Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani, was strongly condemned by India with several OIC member nations too expressing reservations against the strong resolution. India’s presence as an observer can be used to check future such actions by Pakistan.