Pakistan urges Islamic world to stand with Afghan people

TEHRAN, Dec. 19 (MNA) – The meeting of the foreign ministers of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has just kicked off in Islamabad, Pakistan.

The 17th extraordinary session of the foreign ministers of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has just kicked off in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Qureshi urges Islamic world to stand with people of Afghanistan

Addressing the participants at beginning of the summit, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, "Over half their population — 22.8 million people — face food shortage. Millions of Afghan children are at risk of dying from malnutrition. This situation has been brought about by a multiplicity of factors such as years of conflict, poor governance, and excessive dependence on foreign aid."

"August 2021 may have altered the political landscape in Afghanistan, but the needs of the people are the same."

"It is unfortunate that the hardship and suffering of the Afghans have not eased," he said as he urged the Islamic world to stand with the people of Afghanistan just as it backed the right of "self-determination of the Palestinians and the Kashmiris".

"This is the moment to extend a collective helping hand. This is not the time to withhold support," he added.

"This organization (OIC) has consistently supported the rights of the people and called on the rest of the world to think beyond their economic and domestic compulsions."

The minister highlighted that Pakistan would also be impacted by a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, adding that a "complete economic meltdown" could not be ruled out.

Qureshi said that the OIC session must usher in "visible change" and show the people of the war-torn country that it is united in helping them stabilize their economy and country.

Concluding his speech, the foreign minister called on the countries to seize this "historic opportunity" to turn the tide in Afghanistan.

'Afghans have suffered for too long'

Addressing the OIC session, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said that the economic difficulties could trigger a humanitarian crisis and lead to further instability which could impact regional and international peace.

He said that the OIC meeting expressed solidarity with the Afghans and demonstrated to the world the need for immediate action to put an end to the situation in the war-torn country.

"The people of Afghanistan have suffered for too long," he said, adding that they had faced years of instability.

The Saudi minister urged OIC member states to play a part in providing the Afghans with the necessary support and to prevent an economic collapse in the country.

Highlighting the assistance provided by the kingdom in the past, he said that Saudi Arabia had recently airlifted food supplies on the directives of King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

He said that Saudi Arabia also condemned terrorist actions targeting minorities in Afghanistan.

'OIC moot sends universal message of harmony, solidarity

OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha began by thanking the participants for electing him. He also voiced his appreciation for Saudi Arabia for supporting "Islamic solidarity", and thanked Pakistan for the cordial welcome.

"By hosting this event, Pakistan reaffirms its total commitment to the issues facing the Muslim community with a keen dedication to security and peace for region and world," he said.

He also thanked the participants for traveling for the OIC meeting despite the pandemic and the spread of the Omicron variant. "This effort gives a universal message of harmony and solidarity," he said, adding that the Afghan issue has always been high on the OIC agenda.

Afghanistan to become biggest man-made crisis if world doesn’t act

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday issued a clear warning to the global community, stating that Afghanistan could potentially become the biggest "man-made crisis in the world" if it did not act now.

The premier expressed the views while delivering the keynote address at the 17th extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan at the Parliament House in Islamabad.

"Forty-one years ago, an extraordinary session of the OIC was held in Pakistan to discuss the situation in Afghanistan," he told the gathering, which also included Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi alongside delegates from the United States, China, Russia, the European Union and UN.

Imran Khan said no other country had suffered as much as Afghanistan, adding that even before the Taliban seized control, half of the population was below the poverty line. He said that 75 per cent of the country's budget was also supported by foreign aid.

He noted that any country, in a situation similar to that of Afghanistan, would collapse.

Commending the other speaks for highlighting the gravity of the situation in the war-torn country, he said: "If the world doesn't act, this will be the biggest man-made crisis which is unfolding in front of us."

PM Imran said that the OIC also had a "religious duty" to help the Afghans.

Specifically addressing the United States, the prime minister said that Washington must "delink" the Taliban government from the 40 million Afghan citizens.

"They have been in conflict with the Taliban for 20 years but this [concerns] the people of Afghanistan," he said, adding that it was important to take immediate action.

RHM/PR

News Code 181947

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