Pak FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi to skip OIC as India is attending
Islamabad, Mar 1 (IBNS): Amid bilateral tension, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday said he would skip the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as India is participating in it, media reports said.
"I will not attend Council of Foreign Ministers as a matter of principle for (them) having extended invitation as a Guest of Honour to Sushma Swaraj," Qureshi has been quoted by NDTV.
India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had reached Abu Dhabi, where the conference is taking place, last night.
The two countries are having a tensed relationship since Feb 14 when Pakistan-based militant organisation, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), carried out an attack in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, killing over 40 Indian paramilitary personnel.
In a retaliation on Feb 26, India claimed it had conducted a surgical strike across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), something which has been denied by Pakistan.
On Feb 27, Pakistan claimed it had launched a retaliatory raid trying to target Indian defence facilities in Jammu and Kashmir.
Amid escalating tension between India and Pakistan, Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan was taken into custody on Wednesday after his MiG-21 jet was downed during an engagement along the Line of Control (LoC).
Abhinandan's MiG 21 was shot after he actually also brought down one Pakistani F-16 fighter on Feb 27.
After India refused to sit across the table with Pakistan, its Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced Abhinandan's return to the Indian soil.
Khan said Pakistan will release the pilot as a "gesture of peace".
He is expected to reach India through the Wagah border at 3 pm on Friday.
Image Credit: Shah Mahmood Qureshi Twitter