ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday said the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) moot in Islamabad will be “historic” and expressed confidence that the conference will be able to evolve a consensus on Afghanistan.
He made these remarks while talking to the media after examining the arrangements for the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC slated to take place at Parliament House on Sunday.
“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 forbids, if we showed negligence, or not took the timely decision, then Afghanistan can face a new crisis,” the
foreign minister warned.
Qureshi said that concrete and timely steps were required for the return of peace and stability in Afghanistan, adding that the moot of OIC foreign ministers was being held to bring the Afghan crisis into the limelight.
According to the minister, this moot among other developments over the past month was proof that the world was paying heed to Pakistan’s stance on the prevailing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
“From the very first day, Pakistan apprised 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,” Qureshi said.
He further said the economic collapse of Afghanistan would not only impact the immediate neighbours or the region but also the world as a whole in the form of an exodus of refugees and the rise in terrorism.
The minister said the objectives behind hosting the moot were to attract the world’s attention towards the food shortage, the plight of the Afghan children, and the financial difficulties faced by 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 cognisant of the ground realities, have written in their Opeds asking the Biden administration to review its policy,” he said.
Qureshi 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 Congress Representatives have written a letter to US Secretary of State Blinken, saying it is our responsibility and moral obligation to avert the humanitarian crisis [in Afghanistan]. New thinking is emerging and this is the very objective of this extraordinary conference,” he said.
According to Qureshi, at least 437 delegates had registered themselves to be part of the moot, and a large number of foreign and deputy foreign ministers have started to arrive in Islamabad.
A day ahead of the extraordinary moot of the FMs, the senior officials of the OIC countries would meet on Saturday at the venue to discuss the agenda of the meeting, the foreign minister disclosed.
Responding to a question, the FM said the visiting delegates will also meet him and Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the OIC meeting.
Earlier, FM Qureshi reviewed the arrangements made for the OIC moot. The minister visited different parts of the parliament house and expressed satisfaction over the arrangements.
The foreign ministers of the OIC member states have started to arrive in the federal capital to attend the historic moot, reported Radio Pakistan.
The foreign ministers of Malaysia and Bosnia reached the federal capital. They were received by Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal.
Speaking to the media at the airport, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah termed the extraordinary session of OIC “very important and timely”.
Bosnian Foreign Minister Dr Bisera Turkovic expressed the confidence that the OIC moot will jointly come up with the best solutions for the Afghan people.
Acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Amir Khan Muttaqi also arrived in Islamabad to attend the OIC meeting. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan received him at the airport.
Speaking to the media, Muttaqi said a stable Afghanistan was important for regional and global peace. The Taliban leader assured that Afghan land will not be allowed to be used against any other country.
Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Nuryshev Shakhrat and Deputy Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Aibek Artykbaev have also reached Islamabad. Oman Foreign Secretary Al-Sheikh Khalifa Bin Ali Al Harthi has arrived as well.
In addition, The OIC secretary-general who arrived in Islamabad a day earlier, many delegates, including the Saudi envoy, have reached Islamabad.
Pakistan is all set to host the OIC foreign ministers moot in Islamabad on Sunday.
The session is being convened at the initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the OIC Summit Chair. Pakistan welcomed the call and offered to host the session.
Besides the Foreign Ministers from the OIC member states and observers, participants would also include special invitees from the United Nations, international financial institutions and some non-member states, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the EU.
The meeting is being convened in the backdrop of the aggravating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. The session would provide an opportunity to consider practical and concrete steps to help address the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people.