Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ausaf Sayeed, recently met OIC secretary-general

Diplomacy is always a work in progress. For the Modi government, which made great strides in reaching out to the Islamic world, it is important to keep them on the same page as India in order to counter negative narratives.

Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ausaf Sayeed, recently met the secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen.

"Our ambassador conveyed the need to correct some of the misperceptions about India that are perpetrated by vested interests in the OIC," said Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs, said and added that the meeting was in response to a request from the secretary general.

Bagchi said, "The OIC should be watchful that their platform is not subverted by these vested interests for comments on internal affairs of India or for anti-India propaganda through biased and one-sided resolutions."

He did not elaborate on the same, but the OIC press note had said the discussions were around a number of issues concerning the situation of Muslims in India, along with the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and relevant UN and OIC resolutions opposing any unilateral actions on the issue.

He also conveyed the desire of the OIC general secretariat to dispatch a delegation to the disputed territory in line with relevant resolutions of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.

The OIC, with 57 member nations, is a powerful bloc representing the Islamic world. India, despite its large Muslim population, is not a member.

But India's Islamic world outreach was effective in recent years, specially with important features signed with Saudi Arabia and UAE. In 2019, the then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was invited to Abu Dhabi to address the OIC's inaugural meet.

Pakistan hasn't been happy with India's Islamic world diplomacy and has raised bilateral issues on that platform several times.