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Rediff.com  » News » Pak disapproves Saudi king's comments on India's OIC entry

Pak disapproves Saudi king's comments on India's OIC entry

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January 23, 2006 21:18 IST

Disagreeing with Saudi King Abdullah's comments on India's entry into the Organisation of Islamic Conference, Pakistan Monday pointed out to the rule of the grouping of Islamic countries -- that new aspirants should not have disputes with member states, an apparent reference to the Kashmir problem.

"Giving observer status to non-Muslim countries is under discussion. A committee has been appointed. The criteria, apart from what is being worked out, is that any country which wishes to acquire observer status with the OIC should not be involved in any dispute with a member state," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told reporters in Islamabad.

She was reacting to King Abdullah's comments that India should have observer status at the OIC similar to that held by Russia and it would be "beneficial" if New Delhi's entry was put forward "by a nation like Pakistan".

Asked if Pakistan was concerned over the Saudi king's three-day visit to India beginning Tuesday, Aslam said, "We do not put embargo on our friends. They can have bilateral relations with other countries."

She declined to get into discussion when asked whether Saudi Arabia has begun "hyphenating" its relations with India and Pakistan much on the lines of United States policy of having friendly relations with both countries.

"We do not have any veto on any country's relations with another nor did any country have a veto on Pakistan's policy towards other countries," she said.

K J M Varma in Islamabad
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