ISLAMABAD: Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Saturday said the destiny and future of the Muslim World should be decided by Muslims themselves through vision and will, and not be decided by those sitting in Washington, Paris, London or Brussels.
He was addressing the opening session of 6th Think Tank Forum of Islamic Countries as chairman of the organising committee hosting the Forum which brings together 60 top scholars, intellectuals and opinion leaders from 25 countries.
This unique conference is the first of its kind being held in Pakistan.
The Forum has been jointly organised by the Pakistan Senate Defence Committee, the Pakistan-China Institute, the top Turkish think tank, TASAM, and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).
Senator Mushahid said,”We have been unable create a narrative for the Muslim world and this Forum, comprising the ‘best and brightest minds in the Muslim World’ intends to create a platform so that ‘we provide leadership with ideas, issues and initiatives’.”
He rejected conspiracy-theories and said Muslims had an inward looking approach, frankly accepting the fact that ‘their affluence has not translated into influence’ citing the UN system where Muslims should also have a permanent seat in the Security Council with countries rotating their membership.
“If Israel’s Prime Minister can address the U.S. Congress, why not Muslim statesmen?” he asked.
He announced that the Think Tanks Forum would henceforth be called the ‘World Islamic Forum’ and the next Forum, the 7th, would be held in Tehran.
Suleyman Sensoy, Chairman TASAM, while stressing on the importance of deep cooperation among Muslim states said, “When we started this forum, we intended to overcome our contradictions with self-criticism.
“To generate constructive criticism and institute the process of critical thinking, think-tanks play an important role.”
Syed Ali Mohammed Mosavi, Secretary General D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation was of the view that economic security was intertwined with the conventional notions of security. “Safeguarding security is our collective responsibility,” he said.
The panelists urged that the Muslim nations must focus on an intellectual revival in order to bring peace and prosperity to their respective countries and the entire Muslim world.
Ambassador Halil Akinci, Advisor to Chairman of Turkic World Council and First Secretary General of the Turkic Council, in his address, emphasized that Muslim countries should improve regional linkages and opt for cooperation, instead of confrontation.
The first session at the Forum discussed, in great detail, the imperatives of multi-dimensional security.
The speakers delved into the political, economic and strategic dimensions of security and articulated their ideas on how to deal with these challenges.