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Pakistan claims OIC to hold ‘special meet’ on Kashmir

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Imran Khan at UNGA
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New Delhi, Even as Pakistan is trumpeting that it has secured a diplomatic win by prevailing on Saudi Arabia to hold a special session on Kashmir at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), such meetings have been a regular feature.

Sources in New Delhi said that though OIC has made no official announcement or issued any confirmation of the meeting yet, these meetings on Kashmir at OIC “keep happening”.

As it is, such discussions or resolutions on Kashmir at OIC “have had no impact on Saudi-India relationship or for that matter India’s relationship with other member countries of the OIC,” an official of the Ministry of External Affairs told IANS.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been campaigning around the world against India ever since the Narendra Modi government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August this year.

Recently, Khan was forced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohamad Bin Salman to cancel his trip to Malaysia where he intended to slam India over Kashmir at the Islamic Summit hosted by the Mahathir Mohamad government in Malaysia.

Riyadh took serious offence to the summit where it was not invited and perceived it as a challenge to its leadership in the Muslim world by Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan.

The Saudi Kingdom threatened to withdraw its massive aid to Pakistan, already reeling under an economic crisis, if Prime Minister Khan participated in it, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed in Kuala Lumpur after the summit.

“Ever since Pakistan has been involved in a damage control exercise with Riyadh,” a source based in Islamabad said.

“Pakistani media has been bragging that the Khan government persuaded the Kingdom to hold a foreign ministers meeting of OIC countries. But that is hardly a concession. It is only for domestic consumption to appease his constituency in Pakistan,” he said.

In fact, the OIC held an emergency meeting on Kashmir soon after India reorganized the Jammu and Kashmir state into two union territories on August 5 and has issued four statements on Kashmir since.

The meeting was chaired by OIC Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Samir Bakr Diab and attended by Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and the Permanent Representatives of Azerbaijan, Niger, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

In one of the statements, though the OIC backed Pakistan’s request for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council on Kashmir, the OIC refrained from criticizing India over the revocation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

The UNSC member, China’s move to hold a meeting on Kashmir however was vetoed by other members who agreed only for a private discussion. Recently, Beijing’s another bid on behalf of Pakistan for a private discussion on Kashmir was also thwarted.

The OIC instead has asked the international community to resolve the Kashmir issue peacefully through a plebiscite under the UN resolutions. The first condition of the UN resolutions, incidentally, is that Pakistan withdraws from the parts of Jammu AND Kashmir it occupied in 1947.

However, none of the OIC statements had any impact on the Saudi-India relations. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Riyadh in October this year, second time in last three years and met the Crown Prince five times.

The outcome of the meetings was strategic partnership pact between the two countries, making India fourth country after France, the UK and China to earn such a significant status in Riyadh. India is a major importer of oil from Saudi Arabia.

Health

US President Donald Trump says the United States will cut ties with World Health Organization

President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization.

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Donald Trump
  • US President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization.
  • Earlier this month, President Trump threatened to permanently cut off U.S. funding of the WHO.
  • Trump has claimed WHO is “China-centric” and blames the agency for advising against China travel bans early in the outbreak.

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization.

“China has total control over the World Health Organization (WHO) despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year,” Trump said during a press conference from the White House.

“The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China?” he added. “It didn’t go to Beijing, it went nowhere else, but they allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States.”

Trump has repeatedly criticized the WHO’s response to the coronavirus, which has hit the U.S. worse than any other country, amid scrutiny of his own administration’s response to the pandemic. He has claimed WHO is “China-centric” and blames the agency for advising against China travel bans early in the outbreak.

President Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization.

“China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year,” Trump said during a press conference from the White House Rose Garden.

“The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China?” he added. “It didn’t go to Beijing, it went nowhere else, but they allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States.”

Trump has repeatedly criticized the WHO’s response to the coronavirus, which has hit the U.S. worse than any other country, amid scrutiny of his own administration’s response to the pandemic. He has claimed WHO is “China-centric” and blames the agency for advising against China travel bans early in the outbreak.

“Fortunately, I was not convinced and suspended travel from China saving untold numbers of lives,” Trump said on April 14.

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World

Pakistan foreign office gaffes over diplomatic fiasco in New York OIC meet

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OIC Meet New York

Islamabad, May 29 : Confusions confounded existed in the Pakistan Foreign Office as it tied itself in knots earlier this week. After IANS reported on how the Maldivian and the UAE Ambassadors in the OIC meeting in New York delivered a crippling blow to Pakistan chicanery over reported Indian ‘Islamophobia’, Pakistans foreign office went and put its foot in the mouth, shoes and socks included.

Incidentally, Pakistan’s leading daily ‘Dawn’ also reported the same story. Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqi created more confusion by countering the story, saying that it was misleading.

Pakistan’s own ‘Dawn’ trashed the Foreign Office (FO), saying: “The FO statement recapped points from the speech of Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Munir Akram about growing incidents of Islamophobia in India and gravity of the situation. It then went on say that ‘a large number of OIC ambassadors’ shared the concerns about the situation in India and supported the need for a coordinated OIC position on Islamophobia at the UN.

“The statement’s assertion that ‘a large number of ambassadors’ supported Pakistani position implies that not all of them backed it. Furthermore, the statement skipped Maldivian objection.”

A Maldivian foreign ministry statement on the meeting slam dunked Pakistan Foreign Office, saying: “Maldives cannot support any action within OIC that singles out or targets India.”

Dawn also went onto offer a strong reasoning for the diplomatic fiasco, suggesting that in the normal course in the OIC meetings, participants with non-conforming views were traditionally brought around by “heavy weight” — a reference to Saudi Arabia and Egypt — but in this instance the Maldives persisted with its objection and there was no reach-out by any of the so-called heavyweights on the controversial remark.

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Politics

Twitter targets Republicans, allows China to spread lies: Trump

“Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party,” Trump said.

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Donald Trump

San Francisco, May 29 : After issuing an executive order on social media, US President Donald Trump on Friday again accused Twitter of engaging in selective censorship, saying that the platform is “doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China.”

“Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party,” Trump said.

“They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States. Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated,” he added.

In his executive order on Thursday, Trump said that “online platforms are engaging in selective censorship that is harming our national discourse.”

The order seeks to blunt Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act which generally protects internet companies from legal liability for user comments.

“Section 230 was not intended to allow a handful of companies to grow into titans controlling vital avenues for our national discourse under the guise of promoting open forums for debate, and then to provide those behemoths blanket immunity when they use their power to censor content and silence viewpoints that they dislike,” said the order.

Trump’s offensive came on the back of fact checks by Twitter which took the form of a hyperlink that tagged onto exactly two of Trump’s tweets and said “Get the facts about mail-in ballots”.

Even after the executive order was issued, Twitter flagged a fresh tweet from Trump about the Minneapolis violence, saying that the tweet violated Twitter policies about glorifying violence.

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