OIC to discuss Afghan crisis today


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday hoped that the OIC conference in Islamabad would help achieve the consensus on Afghanistan and attract the world’s attention needed to address the crisis.

Speaking to the media at the Parliament House after examining the arrangements for the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC set to take place on Sunday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that as the world joined its voice, Pakistan’s stance on the prevailing situation in Afghanistan was gaining recognition.

The top Pakistan diplomat said he was confident that Pakistan, along with foreign ministers of OIC states, will move a step forward in building that consensus.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said from the very first day, Pakistan told the world about the looming humanitarian crisis and that the situation could also lead to an economic collapse if the banking system remained dysfunctional for long. He said the economic collapse of Afghanistan would not only impact the immediate neighbours or region but the world in form of the exodus of refugees as well as terrorism.

He said the objective behind hosting the moot was to attract the world attention towards the food shortage, plight of the children, and the financial difficulties in the war-torn country.

“Today, the world seems to be getting convinced on this. Around 11 NATO commanders who had served in Afghanistan are also pointing toward this. The ambassadors who served in Kabul and are fully cognizant of the ground realities have written in their Op-ed asking the Biden administration to review its policy,” he said.

The foreign minister, who earlier examined the committee rooms for meetings of the delegates as well as the bilateral meetings, besides the arrangements to receive the dignitaries, told media that the envoys had urged the US administration to think of the people of Afghanistan for whose welfare, the US had made a huge investment. He said Pakistan had been calling the world not to show any indifference and many voices were joining it including from the European Union.

“Around 39 US congressmen have written a letter to US Secretary of State Blinken, saying it is our responsibility and moral obligation to avert the humanitarian crisis. A new thinking is emerging and this is the very objective of this extraordinary conference,” he said.

He told media that the 437 delegates had registered themselves to be part of the moot. A huge number of foreign and deputy foreign ministers are arriving, he added.

Qureshi said the senior officials of the OIC countries would meet Saturday at the venue to discuss the agenda and work plan and was confident of reaching a consensus.

“Tomorrow’s meeting will be very important and historic. We are at the threshold of history. If we take the right step, it can bring in regional, peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan. God forbid, if we demonstrate incompetence or fail to act promptly, Afghanistan may face a new crisis,” the foreign minister warned.

He said any new crisis would impact the whole region rather than the world as people would be compelled to migrate.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday said the extraordinary session of OIC CFMs is an expression of solidarity with the Afghan people and to focus our collective energies on addressing the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

Premier tweeted, “I welcome delegations from OIC member states, observers, friends, partners & international organisations to Pakistan. The extraordinary session of OIC CFMs is an expression of solidarity with the Afghan people & to focus our collective energies on addressing the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan”.

Prime Minister Imran said he looked forward to speaking at the conference.

In another tweet, he said, “my heartfelt prayers & condolences go to all the families of victims of the twin blasts at Sher Shah Paracha Chowk, Karachi. I am especially saddened to hear of the loss of our MNA Alamgir Khan’s father who also perished in the blast. May Allah give him strength to bear this loss.”

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah accompanied by a delegation on Saturday arrived in Pakistan to attend the 17th extraordinary session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), being held in the capital on December 19 (Today). Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Shibli Faraz and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Affairs Allama Tahir Ashrafi welcomed the Foreign Minister of Kuwait.

Speaking on the occasion, the Foreign Minister of Kuwait said that Afghanistan was a brotherly Islamic country which was currently in a difficult situation.

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will take steps to help Afghanistan in any case and will raise its voice for the Afghans,” the Kuwait Foreign Minister said.

He said that Afghanistan was a neighbouring country of Pakistan and its assistance provided to Afghanistan was commendable.

On the occasion, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Shibli Faraz said that it was an honour for Pakistan to host extraordinary session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Pakistan, as a brotherly Islamic country, would continue its cooperation and assistance in the construction and development of Afghanistan.

SAPM Allama Tahir Ashrafi said that the important meeting of OIC Foreign Ministers expressed unity and solidarity of all Muslim nations.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would deliver an important message for peace and development of Afghanistan in his special address today (December 19).

Kuwait ambassador Nawaf Abdulaziz Alenezi and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the guests, as the host country rolled out a red carpet in honour of the dignitaries.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday said Prime Minister Imran Khan would deliver a keynote address at the conference of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers and would convey the message of Pakistan and Muslim Ummah.

Talking to Pakistan Television, he said he was very satisfied with the representation of OIC countries by their delegates including foreign ministers.

More than 400 delegates got themselves registered for the conference, he added.

He said women parliamentarians held a fruitful meeting with Indonesian female Foreign Minister. It was discussed how Ulema of Pakistan Indonesia and Afghanistan could work together to protect rights of women and convey the true spirit and message of Islam and remove apprehensions about Islam.

Meanwhile, Shah Mahmood Qureshi Saturday told his Afghan counterpart that an inclusive government and respect for human rights, particularly women, was in the interest of the Afghan government.

The foreign minister, in a meeting with the visiting Interim Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi here, said since August 15, Pakistan had been striving for attracting the world’s attention towards the humanitarian and economic situation of Afghanistan.

Muttaqi is in Islamabad to attend the 17th Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Afghanistan set to take place on Sunday here.

The foreign minister said the economic stability of Afghanistan would be in everyone’s interest, so the world should not waste the opportunity earned after 40 years.

The interim Afghan foreign minister thanked Foreign Minister Qureshi for inviting him to the moot and for the warm hospitality.

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