March 1, 2019
September 23rd1969 Rabat, Morocco. The plenary section of the Organisation of Islamic Countries is in session. In attendance is Mr. Gurbachan Singh the then Indian ambassador to Morocco who has been specially invited to represent Government of India till the official delegation from India arrives. Also in attendance is Gen. Yahaya Khan of Pakistan. The proposal to invite India was at the instance of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. The Indian delegation led by Mr. Farukkh Ali Ahamad Minister for Industrial development in Indira Gandhi’s Cabinet landed in Rabat to take part in the deliberations from the 24th of September.
The sessions on 24th was delayed when Gen Yahya Khan of Pakistan served an ultimatum that Pakistan along with Jordan would walk out off the meeting if India was entertained. An embarrassed Morocco desperately tried to persuade India to voluntarily return home. India refused and was subjected to the indignity of being physically barred from the conference. The conference finally concluded with uncomplimentary references to India and its treatment of Muslims.
Cut March 1st 2019 50 years to the day India has been invited to be the Guest of Honor at the OIC conference being held in UAE. This invite has come to a government formed by the BJP which has been portrayed as a rabidly communal Hindu party headed by Mr. Modi who has been in the past vilified and pilloried by the secular Congress party for his unproven involvement in the riots of 2002. India is being represented by the External Affairs Minister Ms. Sushma Swaraj. This has been done overlooking the objections raised by Pakistan which has even threatened a boycott of the conference and in the background of a tense situation on the Indo Pak border following reprisal attack on terrorist bases in Pakistan by India.
The irony of the situation cannot be lost among the readers. In 1969 one of the excuses trotted out was the communal riots in Ahmedabad that year. In 2019 the invitation ha sbeen extended in recognition of the contribution made by this country in preserving the and promoting the welfare of the second largest population of Muslims throughout the world. This is a total negation of the ideology of the Barelvi group which promoted jihad against India after changing its description from Dar-ul Islam (Abode of peace) to Dar ul Harb (Abode of war) from the very place that India has attacked three days back-Balakot in Pakistan. It is also the recognition of the growing power of India to influence events without interference or domination as demonstrated in Afghanistan and the Middle East. It has taken 5 years of hard work and travel to change the perception and the work has paid off spectacularly by this event. In terms of achievement this must surely rank on par with the diplomatic achievement in bringing the world to recognize the dangers of state sponsored terrorism and unite strongly against Pakistan. A vote of appreciation is due to the diplomatic corps headed by the dignified Ms. Sushma Swaraj and the Prime Minister who have silently wrought this change.
The Author is a Cyber expert and is available in the twitter handle by @acitizenwrites