Pakistan is hosting the 17th extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers today (Sunday) to focus on the current humanitarian and economic situation in Afghanistan.
The session was convened at the insistence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the OIC Summit Chair. Prime Minister Imran Khan will deliver the keynote address at the special moot taking place at Parliament House.
The conference will start with a statement of Pakistan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who will chair the session.
The chair of the OIC summit, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud, will then speak to the delegates. This will be followed by a statement from Hissein Brahim Taha, Secretary-General of the OIC, statements on behalf of OIC Regional Groups (Asia, Africa, Arab) and a statement by President Islamic Development Bank Dr Muhammad Al-Jasser.
A delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia arrived late Saturday evening. The delegation was led by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud. Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, SAPM on Interfaith Harmony Tahir Ashrafi, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Bin Saeed Ahmed Al-Maliki and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the guests.
Several delegations, including foreign ministers, deputy foreign ministers, foreign secretaries and other senior government officials, have arrived from several countries, including Turkey, Sierra Leone, Somalia, UAE, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Jordan and Palestine, in Islamabad.
Interim Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi is also in the federal capital to attend the special moot.
The government has completed all arrangements at Parliament house ahead of the OIC session as red carpets and floral arrangements have been laid out in the corridors to welcome the guests.
Besides foreign ministers and observers, the special invitees include participants from the United Nations, international financial institutions, and some non-member states, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the EU.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the delegation from the OIC member states for coming to Pakistan to attend the crucial OIC meeting. “I welcome delegations from OIC [member] states, observers, friends, partners [and] international organisations to Pakistan,” he said on Twitter handle.
“The extraordinary session of OIC [Council of Foreign Ministers] is an expression of solidarity with the Afghan [people and] to focus our collective energies on addressing the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.”
FM QURESHI SPEAKS: Speaking to the media at Parliament House after examining the arrangements, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Pakistan’s stance on the prevailing situation in Afghanistan is gaining recognition with the world joining its voice.
He said he is confident that Pakistan, along with foreign ministers of the OIC states, will move a step forward in building that consensus.
Qureshi said from the very first day, Pakistan told the world about the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and that the situation could also lead to an economic collapse if the banking system remained dysfunctional for long.
He said the economic collapse of Afghanistan would not only impact the immediate neighbours or region but the world in the form of the exodus of refugees, as well as terrorism.
The minister reiterated that the objective behind hosting the moot was to attract the world’s attention towards the food shortage, the plight of the children, and the financial difficulties in the war-torn country.