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Pakistan offers to host OIC summit to discuss Afghan crisis

Updated 29 Nov, 2021
Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi urged the OIC to step up to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people.
Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi urged the OIC to step up to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people.

Pakistan on Monday offered to host the extraordinary session of the Council of Foreign Minister of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) convened by Saudi Arabia, the OIC Summit chair, to discuss the latest situation in Afghanistan..

“Pakistan fully endorses this initiative. We also offered to host this meeting in Islamabad on the 17th of December 2021. We are confident that the OIC member states will endorse this offer,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a video message.

He said the first extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers was held in Islamabad, in January 1980, on the situation in Afghanistan.

“Next month we will once again gather in Islamabad to reaffirm our abiding solidarity with and support to the Afghan people,” he hoped.

Qureshi also highlighted the need for providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan in these difficult times.

"Afghanistan is a founding member of the OIC. As part of the Islamic Ummah, we are bound by fraternal bonds of amity and brotherhood with the people of Afghanistan," he said.

Qureshi further said that “Afghanistan faces a serious humanitarian situation — millions of Afghans, including women and children, confront an uncertain future due to [the] shortage of food, medicines, and other essential life supplies".

He emphasised the need for the OIC to step in to help our Afghan brethren.

"We should step up our collective efforts to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, provide immediate and sustained support to them, and continue to remain engaged with them for the wellbeing and prosperity of Afghanistan."

Global aid agencies have warned that more than half of Afghanistan's 38 million population are expected to face hunger this winter, as the country grapples with a deteriorating economy following the Islamists' return to power.

Inflation and unemployment have surged in Afghanistan, and international aid that made up 75 percent of the previous US-backed government's budget has completely dried up.