Prime Minister Imran Khan regretted on Tuesday that Muslims have failed the Kashmiris and Palestinians.
Delivering his keynote address at the 48th Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Islamabad on Tuesday, he said “we are 1.5 billion people and yet our voice to stop this blatant injustice is insignificant… We are simply talking about human rights…”
The OIC conference started discussions on problems faced by the Muslim world. The theme of the 48th session is “Building Partnerships for Unity, Justice, and Development”. More than 100 resolutions will be considered during the two-day session.
Prime Minister Imran said Kashmiris were denied their right to a plebiscite even though international law was on their side and added that Kashmir’s special status was revoked by India illegally in August 2019.
Prime Minister Imran said he was not saying that Muslim countries alter their foreign policies but unless “we have a united front [on core issues] these abuses will keep on happening”.
“In Palestine, social media exposed the crimes committed by the Israelis. India is changing the demography of Kashmir by bringing settlers from outside,” he said, adding that this was a war crime, but nobody censured India on it.
He said he is pleased to see Islamophobia being acknowledged as a reality and that something needs to be done about it.
He congratulated the visiting foreign ministers and excellencies on the designation of March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
The prime minister said that the world was heading in the wrong direction, adding that there was a chance of the world being divided into blocks. “Unless we take a united stand, we would be [going] nowhere.”
PM Imran said it was extremely important to stabilise Afghanistan. Due to sanctions and non-recognition, Afghanistan may fall into another humanitarian crisis and the only way to stop terrorism emanating from Afghan soil is to support a stable government in Kabul.
Denying the existence of a “radical” version of Islam, the premier said there was only one kind of Islam that was preached by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). He said the narrative of ‘Islamic terrorism’ went on unchecked after the 9/11 attacks.
“We, the Muslim countries, did not do anything to stop this narrative,” he said, adding that the heads of Muslim states should have taken a stand on this issue but they “instead [a] lot of them kept saying things like we are moderate.”
This meant that they were acknowledging that there was a radical version of Islam.
“There is only one Islam that is of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH),” he said, adding that there were fanatics in every human community but only Islam was singled out by the use of such terms.
He said Islam was vilified yet there was no “coherent response” by the Muslim world.
PM Imran said after the resolution on Islamophobia, he hoped that a narrative would be put forward that why blasphemy hurt Muslims so much.
According to the premier, the Objectives Resolutions by the founding fathers in 1951 envisaged Pakistan as an Islamic welfare state based on the model of Madina.
He said he came in politics for the very same goal.
“In the history of mankind, there was never a more just and humane state than the state of Madina,” he said, adding that unfortunately, Muslims didn’t know about it.
PM Imran said Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came to “unite mankind not to divide mankind”. The charter of Madina was signed with Jews, Christians, and pagans, he said, adding that everyone became part of the community.
“It was a revolution of ideas; he created a new system,” he said referring to the holy prophet (PBUH).
Speaking about the rule of law, he said the poor countries have one thing in common, they cannot catch white-collar criminals. “The developing world is poor because they cannot put powerful criminals in jail.”
Citing a UN report, he said $1.6 trillion are siphoned off from poor countries by powerful criminals.
ISLAMIC VALUES: According to the premier, one of the ideas behind the OIC moot was to protect Islamic values. “I believe Islamic values never have been under so much threat as they are right now.”
“After becoming the premier, I asked the police chief about the crime chart and I was told sex crime, including child abuse, was the fastest growing crime in Pakistan. Upon investigation, it was discovered that mobile phones – the sort of pornographic material available to children on phones – were causing havoc in society.”
It is very important to combat this, he said, adding that there was a rise in divorces. The increase in vulgarity damaged the family system, Imran said, adding that the culture that was coming through social media needs plans to combat it.
About Ukraine, the premier suggested that the OIC, during its moot, think ‘how it can bring about a ceasefire’.
“I am going to meet Wang Yi…and discuss maybe OIC along with China step in and stop this conflict.
If this conflict continued it would have grave consequences for the world, he said, adding that oil, gas and wheat prices have shot up significantly.
“This is only going to get worse if the conflict continued,” he added.
“How we can all as a block, the OIC and China, influence the events in Ukraine and stop this and have a ceasefire and resolve this conflict,” he added.
Prime Minister Imran maintained that the world was moving in a direction that was “worrisome for all of us – block politics, cold war”. Muslims states “lacked self-belief” and looked towards others for justice.
The premier said that “we get united” and take a unified stand on core issues
“We get united and on certain core issues, take a stand and let’s not be dragged into blocks and conflicts – we should stay as a block and show our power in bringing about peace rather than becoming part of some conflict.”