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PM calls for 'prompt action' to avoid chaos in Afghanistan

Updated 19 Dec, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan at the extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC’s) Council of Foreign Ministers’ (CFM’) on Afghanistan in Islamabad Sunday. Photo: twitter.com/@PakPMO
Prime Minister Imran Khan at the extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC’s) Council of Foreign Ministers’ (CFM’) on Afghanistan in Islamabad Sunday. Photo: twitter.com/@PakPMO

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday stressed the need for an immediate response followed by a collective effort from all the parties to help Afghanistan as "chaos suits no one".

"Action must be taken immediately. Unless and immediate action is taken, Afghanistan is heading to chaos," he said in his address at the extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC’s) Council of Foreign Ministers’ (CFM’) on Afghanistan in Islamabad Sunday.

Convened by Saudi Arabia as OIC chair and hosted by Pakistan to discuss the Afghanistan humanitarian crisis, the session is being attended by around 20 foreign ministers, 10 deputy foreign ministers and 70 delegates.

The extraordinary session is expected to pass a joint resolution.

"If the world does not act, it will be the biggest man-made crisis. It's a big responsibility for us as the situation unfolds," the premier said and urged the world community, especially the US, to delink the 40 million Afghan people from the Taliban government. PM stressed that it's about the Afghanistan people, who are bearing the brunt of sanctions. He highlighted the state of the Afghan people in the current winter season.

He shared his meeting with the interim Afghan foreign minister and said the latter agreed to follow the three preconditions set by the international community.

Furthermore, the PM said he looked forward to the road map on Afghanistan stability from the foreign ministers that would be endorsed by the international partners -- including the US and world aid bodies.

On human rights, he was of the view that every society was different. Every society has different ideas of human rights and women rights, he said while citing the examples of rural and urban Kabul. "When we talk about human rights we have to be sensitive about the cultural norms of the areas concerned."

PM Imran also warned the world of Da'esh terrorist organistaion and the looming threat if Afghanistan head to chaos. He forewarned that this time the West would also be battling with the Afghan refugee crisis not just the immediate neighbours of Afghanistan.

He also spoke about the Palestine and Kashmir issues. "People of Palestine and [Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and] Kashmir look up to us. We should raise a unified stance for their rights," PM Imran said.

He also shared the development of the Rehmat-lil-Alameen Authority while talking about Islamophobia. The premier underscored the need for delinking terms like "radical Islam" and "Islamic terrorism" with the religion Islam.

Six-point strategy

Pakistan proposed a six-point strategy for addressing Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis, food security and economic revival besides the institutional capacity building to counter-terrorism, APP reported.

The foreign minister, also chair of the session, in his opening address stressed the need for creating a vehicle within the OIC countries for sustainable humanitarian and financial support.

"I propose a six-point framework for the OIC to lead. First, we could create a vehicle within the OIC to channel immediate and sustained humanitarian and financial support to the Afghan people including from pledges by the OIC member states and other donors. Second, we should agree to investment in the people of Afghanistan bilaterally or through the OIC in areas such as education, health, technical and vocational skills to the Afghan youth.

Third, a group of experts comprising the OIC, the UN, to consider ways and means to facilitate Afghanistan's access to legitimate banking services and to ease the serious liquidity challenge of the Afghan people. Fourth, we should focus on enhancing the food security of the Afghan people the Islamic Organisation for Food Security can and must lead this effort. Fifth, invest in building the capacity of Afghan institutions, encountering terrorism and combatting illegal trade in narcotics. Finally, engage with Afghana authorities to help meet the expectations of the international community in particular."

The foreign minister also called for enhanced engagement with Afghanistan to bring in political and social inclusivity besides ensuring respect for human rights particularly women’s rights.

He commended Saudi Arabia for convening the session as the OIC chair and trusting Pakistan to host the extraordinary moot.

Besides other delegates, he also welcomed the OIC secretary general for rapid mobilisation and arrangements for the session on short notice.

He said the gathering of OIC leaders at the short notice also reaffirmed their commitment to addressing the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

Calling it a matter of survival, the foreign minister said over half of the Afghan population faced food shortage, which made the population of two-thirds UN member states.

He said Pakistan had hosted an OIC session on Afghanistan in 1980 and after 41 years, Pakistan was is obliged to host another session on the humanitarian crisis in the same country as the sufferings of the Afghan people had not ended.

Qureshi referred to the World Food Programme, which warned that Afghanistan could face the largest humanitarian crisis in the world and the United Nations also warned of a similar situation.

He said it was a moment to stand up and that Afghan people must be supported without any condition.

OIC moot focus on collective energies: PM

Pakistan is hosting the extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC’s) Council of Foreign Ministers’ (CFM’) today (Sunday), as Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said the meeting would focus collective energies on addressing the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

In a tweet, the premier welcomed the delegations from OIC member states, observers, friends, partners & international organistaions to Pakistan. "I look forward to speaking at the Conference," the PM said.