Pakistan hopes for consensus on Afghanistan crisis


Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. File photo
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. File photo

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.

Letter written by 39 congressmen to Secretary of State Blinken and Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen on the need to provide assistance to Afghan people and unfreezing Afghan assets.
Letter written by 39 congressmen to Secretary of State Blinken and Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen on the need to provide assistance to Afghan people and unfreezing Afghan assets.

“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.

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