Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Organization of Islamic Co-Operation (OIC) and Prospects of Yemeni Conflict Resolution: Delusion or Plausible Reality

Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Organization of Islamic Co-Operation (OIC) and Prospects of Yemeni Conflict Resolution: Delusion or Plausible Reality

Article excerpt

Introduction

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (Arabic:????? ??????? ????????) is the second largestsui generis intergovernmental organization after United Nation (Hakala & Kettis, 2013) in terms of membership and is mantle of collective voice of the Muslim world which has the mandate to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony. It was established on September 25, 1969 to deal with the emergent situation arising after agonizing event of arson of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem by an allegedly unbalanced Australian tourist (Hossian, 2012). This watershed event in Muslim history necessitated formulation of an organization for pragmatic handling of any such situation in future. An emergency summit was called by King Hassan of Morocco at Rabat which was attended by 25 Muslim states. The Rabat Summit proved stepping stone for establishment of OIC. The membership of the organization expanded with passage of time and today stands at 57 member and 5 observers1countries spread over four continents (one-sixth of world land area), constituting 1.5 billion people (onefifth of world population), possessing 70 per cent of the world energy resources, 40 per cent of the available raw material and combined GDP of about seven trillion dollars (5%) of the world GDP (Siddiqui, 2013).International organizations like League of Arab States, United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)and African Union also enjoy observer status in the OIC.

The fledgling organization faced 1stchallenge of its existence in 1970 when it encountered Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)-Jordan conflict. Jordan had accommodated large number of Palestinian refugees particularly after 1967 Arab-Israel war and assumed the legitimate role of Palestinian representation for their struggle. However, PLO was concurrently emerging as a force streamlining its struggle against Israeli occupation. This brought PLO face to face with Jordanian government and an armed conflict between PLO and Jordan ensued. Saudi Arabia and Egypt played pivotal role in conflict resolution between both parties. However, OIC just adopted a resolution expressing its appreciation for the efforts of Egypt and Saudi Arabia in seeking to reconcile two of its members2.Role played by OIC in resolution of this conflict remained completely murky as no information on mediation has ever been made public till to date.

The OIC encountered second challenge when conflict between Bangladesh (erstwhile East Pakistan) and West Pakistan emerged in 1971. Elections were held in both parts of the country in 1971 and eastern wing politicians (Bengalis) won majority seats in the national assembly however the western part polity ( today's Pakistan) refused to hand over power to the legitimate winners. This power struggle led to a civil war in the eastern wing which culminated on dismemberment of Pakistan. OIC launched a mediation initiative and visited Pakistan for resolution of the conflict however could not succeed in interacting with Bengali politicians who had taken refuge in India and India refused the entry of OIC delegation. Thus the initiative failed without any positive outcome. The subsequent efforts of OIC in normalization of bilateral relations did bear some fruit.

Third major challenge faced by the OIC was during Iran-Iraq conflict in early 1980s. This time OIC reacted promptly and launched mediation efforts for resolving the conflict. A goodwill mission headed by Pakistan was formulated in September 1980 with the hope of bringing warring parties to negotiation table(Al-Ahsan, 1988) however mission did not succeed. In continued efforts, mission was reshuffled and renamed as Islamic Peace Committee (IPC) in January 1981. IPC asked belligerents through a summit held in Baghdad to cease fighting. However Iran boycotted the summit on the basis of neutrality of venue and no worthwhile progress could be made as Iran and Iraq both paid no heed to the proposals made by the committee. …

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