This is the first time when India has been invited to the OIC as a “Guest of Honour”

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will on March 1 present New Delhi’s view before the Foreign Ministers of the 57 member-nations of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – a bloc, which Pakistan has all along been using to slam India on the issue of Kashmir.

Swaraj will address the inaugural plenary of the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC in Abu Dhabi. India is not a member of the OIC, but External Affairs Minister has been invited by her United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to address the inaugural plenary of the meeting of the bloc’s Foreign Ministers as a “Guest of Honour”.

This is the first time when India has been invited to the OIC as a “Guest of Honour”.

Swaraj is expected to present India’s view on terrorism and the issue of Kashmir before the OIC Foreign Ministers to counter the narrative built by Pakistan.

The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents and a population of more than 1.8 billion.

Pakistan, a member of the OIC, has been using the forum to slam India for alleged violation of human rights in Kashmir. New Delhi has been rejecting the OIC’s criticism against it by pointing out that the bloc had no locus standi on internal affairs of India.

"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. We see this invitation as a milestone in our comprehensive strategic partnership with the UAE,” Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said “We also see this invitation as a welcome recognition of the presence of 185 million Muslims in India and of their contribution to its pluralistic ethos, and of India’s contribution to the Islamic world.”

He said that India was “happy to accept” the invitation to attend the Inaugural Plenary of the OIC meeting.