Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which represents the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world, has “failed” both Palestinians and Kashmiris in ensuring their freedom which has been curtailed by the occupation forces.
“We have not been able to make any impact. We are a divided house. We are 1.5 billion people and yet our efforts are insignificant to stop this conflict in Palestine and Kashmir,” 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 premier added that despite the international law, which is on their (Palestine and Kashmir) side, the Islamic bloc could do anything. He went on to add that the international community ensured the right would be given to them; however, it was never given to them. The PM highlighted the Indian action in the occupied territory on August 5, 2019, when it stripped Kashmiris of the special autonomy.
He labelled such a decision as a “war crime”, adding that the Indian government was trying to bring Hindu settlers into the occupied territory to convert the Muslim majority into a minority. “Yet no one is pushed on such developments as they think we [OIC] are ineffective.”
“I am not talking about altering our foreign policy but on core issues… I am asking OIC. Until we have a united front this will continue to happen,” PM Imran said.
He further expressed his hope from social media, which according to him has created more impact and awareness than the OIC about the situation in the occupied territories.
The premier expressed hope for a stable Afghanistan and reiterated the war-torn country had suffered over the last 40 years.
“Anyone who knows the Afghan character should be cautious and I say please do not push the people of Afghanistan where they think their sovereignty is compromised,” he said, adding that they do not like the idea that someone was dictating them.
“Please remember Afghanistan character does not allow being dictated,” he added and stressed the need for involving the neighbouring country in the international community.
The premier also spoke about the Ukraine-Russia war and its impending effect on the poor countries in form of high petrol, gas, and wheat prices.
He expressed his fear that if the world kept going in this way it will have deep consequences. “We are very concerned about events in Ukraine. All non-partisan countries like us need to influence the events and work around how we as a bloc [OIC] and China can help end this conflict,”
The premier expressed his concerns that the world was moving towards the cold war and bloc politics. “We keep underestimating ourselves, somehow we lack self-belief,” he said, “We don’t have self-belief. We look to others to get our issues resolved. Let’s not be dragged into bloc politics.”
Moreover, the premier claimed that the Muslim countries did not do anything to check Islamophobia and lamented a few states' reactions of defending itself against such development by claiming to be a moderate state.
He ruled out a perception that there were different types of Islam, which according to him came into the debate after the 9/11 incident. “How could be a community responsible for some fanatical and extremist did. It was a difficult period for Muslims to live in non-Muslim countries.”
“You cannot develop until you improve,” he said, alleging that the Muslim countries did not change the extremist narrative because of which every Muslim became branded.
The premier took notice of the developing Islamophobia incidents. He talked about Muslims' reaction to Salman Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses”.
He was of the view that the West does not treat their holy figures the way Muslims treat Propet Muhammad (PBUH). He lamented that there was no coherent response from Muslims and expressed hope that the organisation would be able to put forward its narrative in front of the world.
“I only came into politics against Islamophobia and our country,” he said.
The premier further said that Islamic values were “under threat,” adding that sex crime was the fastest growing crime in Pakistan. Moreover, the rate of divorce was increasing because of the changing pattern
“The more society gets permissive the more it tends to falter. Islamic nations need to think carefully about how we intend to protect our future generations and strengthen our children from this unpredictable social media revolution,” PM Imran said.
“In Pakistan, we had to specifically pass a law for women to get their inheritance rights because without it they weren’t getting it!” he added.