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FM Qureshi says OIC far from seeing justice for Muslims

Updated 22 Mar, 2022
“The Muslims of Palestine and the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) are still reeling under abominable subjugation,” he said in his address at the 48th Session of the OIC of Foreign Ministers after Pakistan assumed the chair. APP
“The Muslims of Palestine and the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) are still reeling under abominable subjugation,” he said in his address at the 48th Session of the OIC of Foreign Ministers after Pakistan assumed the chair. APP
Delegates of the 48th session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation at the Parliament House in Islamabad. APP
Delegates of the 48th session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation at the Parliament House in Islamabad. APP
Prime Minister Imran Khan attends the 48th session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation at the Parliament House in Islamabad. APP
Prime Minister Imran Khan attends the 48th session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation at the Parliament House in Islamabad. APP

Islamabad: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday lamented that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was far from seeing justice for Muslims in many parts of the world, even after 50 years of its establishment, as people in Kashmir and Palestine continue to suffer under occupation forces.

“The Muslims of Palestine and the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir are still reeling under abominable subjugation,” he said in his address at the 48th Session of the OIC of Foreign Ministers after Pakistan assumed the chair.

The thematic focus of the ministerial conference is “Partnering for Unity, Justice and Development”. The meeting coincides with the 75th-anniversary of Pakistan Day.

A total of 675 delegates – including foreign ministers and high-level dignitaries from OIC members and observer states – are attending the CFM. They would also witness the Pakistan Day parade on 23rd March 2022 as guests of honour.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is attending the event as a special guest.

The foreign minister highlighted the Indian actions violating the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the OIC on Jammu and Kashmir. “These illegal acts increased the threat of a conflict between India and Pakistan. Kashmiris are looking towards their Muslim brothers and sisters for support,” he said.

He was of the view that the Muslim world’s resentment was increasing because of “frequent external interventions” in their countries. He added that left unaddressed, conflicts in the Middle East, prolonged “foreign occupation” and the denial of the right to self-determination – most notably to the people of Palestine and Kashmir – undermined the unity of OIC countries and “exposed the countries to foreign interference and intervention,” fueled terrorism and extremism, and deflected attention from development goals.

To help forge a collective response, the foreign minister stressed the need for uniting for justice for the rights of Muslims under occupation and conflicts with countries beyond the Ummah. “This should also include the urgency of addressing the pervasive Islamophobia facing Muslims in non-Muslim majority countries.”

FM Qureshi said it was time for the Muslim Ummah to forge a collective response to the current turmoil inside its borders and the ongoing global transition. “We must be a reliable partner in forging unity, justice, and development across the globe, but not anyone’s accomplice in aggression or domination,”

The foreign minister said the time had come for OIC to strengthen itself to address contemporary challenges and conflicts confronting the Muslim Ummah.

To forge partnership for development, he proposed for the OIC countries to mobilise international support for a comprehensive strategy on vaccine equity, increased development financing, accelerated climate action getting resolute action against illicit financial flows.

He also called for taking advantage of a preferential system trade among the OIC member states.

Terrorists in Afghanistan

The foreign minister encouraged the “efforts” of the Afghan authorities to eliminate Daesh (IS-K) and stressed effective strategies needed to deal with other terrorist groups in Afghanistan like TTP, ETIM, IMU, and Al-Qaida.

“We must guard against spoilers that wish to continue destabilizing Afghanistan and using its territory to promote terrorism,” he said.

Conference expectation

He expressed confidence that the conference would strengthen itself by developing and deploying tools for conflict prevention, mediation, reconciliation and peacebuilding.

FM Qureshi called for partnering for development by effectively addressing the triple global crises of Covid-19, development, and climate change. He proposed convening an OIC Ministerial Conference during 2022-2023 to assess the need for establishing a peace and security architecture akin to all other regional organisations. He added Pakistan stood ready to play its part as a bridge-builder in promoting regional and OIC-driven solutions to internal conflicts.

“It was a matter of pride for us to host this meeting in 2022 which marked the 75th Anniversary of Pakistan’s independence,” he said, “Promoting solidarity and cooperation within the Muslim Ummah is one of the central pillars of Pakistan’s foreign policy. As Chair of the OIC-CFM during 2022-23, Pakistan’s overarching goal shall be to solidify this bridging role further,” he said.

He commended the leadership role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the OIC Summit chair.

Qureshi termed the OIC as the collective voice of nearly two billion Muslims and also a bridge among Muslim nations and the international community.

He also highlighted the collective recent achievements including holding the CFM on Afghanistan, establishing the OIC Humanitarian Trust Fund, the appointment of Special Envoy of the OIC Secretary General and launching of Afghanistan Food Security Programme.

He mentioned Pakistan's role in strengthening OIC’s presence in Afghanistan by reinforcing the OIC Mission in Kabul.

Welcoming the recent designation of 15 March as the “International Day to Combat Islamophobia” by the UN General Assembly, he said Pakistan was gratified to have played its role in garnering consensus on this important issue.

The foreign minister said Pakistan was witnessing unprecedented turbulence at the global level, adding that conflict in Ukraine which had rekindled East-West tensions, threatens international peace and security.