Pakistan unlocked a successful feat as the year 2021is approaching an end. On 18th December 2021, Pakistan hosted the 17th OIC summit in Islamabad. Certainly, it was a great opportunity at the right time. Many Foreign Ministers from OIC countries started arriving in Islamabad on 17th December. The OIC summit in Pakistan is undoubtedly a big feat for Pakistan under the current situations that Muslim states are facing across the world.
This OIC summit in Pakistan is not one of the regular annual summits. It was considered to be an extraordinary summit, which means the summit that is an emergency meeting to discuss the ongoing situations in Muslim countries, mainly Afghanistan’s worsening conditions.
Participants of OIC Summit in Pakistan
The OIC states participated in the 17th OIC summit in Pakistan. The foreign ministers of countries from UAE, Asia, and Africa were present at the summit. Other than OIC nations, observer participants and special participants were also invited i.e. the US, UK, Russia, Italy, China, Japan, and France. Special people from the UN system and International Financial Institutions were also present at the summit.
More than 500 people started arriving in Islamabad, Pakistan on 17th December. These people include ambassadors, OIC members, ministers, and delegations from the UN and other organizations.
Following people participated actively in the OIC conference and presented statements on the central agenda of the OIC summit 2021:
- Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister of the host country.
- Farhan Al-Saud, Foreign Minister of KSA. He also chaired the summit.
- Secretary-General of OIC summit, Hissein Brahim Taha.
- Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, Islamic Development Bank’s Chairman.
- Statements from OIC regional groups i.e. Africa, Arab, and Asia were also presented.
Agenda of 17th OIC Summit in Pakistan
The following agendas discussed in the OIC summit in Pakistan were the highlights:
- Afghanistan issue and current conditions: economic, security, and humanitarian concerns in Afghanistan.
- Economic and security concerns in Afghanistan and their role in human rights violations.
- The looming Afghan refugee crisis in the world.
- The Kashmir issue and role of the Muslim community, and Conditions of Muslims around the world.
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Looming Afghanistan’s Refugee Crisis
The ongoing situation in Afghanistan has been a source of concern for Pakistan and other countries of the region. After the recent development in Afghanistan where the US sudden escape from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s rule over Afghanistan, the situation has been tense. Pakistan has always been in favor of developing binary relations with the Taliban as that would be favorable for the region and the world.
OIC summit discussed the future refugee crisis if situations in Afghanistan remain the same. The refugee crisis will become a problem for Muslim countries as well as European countries. After the pandemic has hit the global economy, countries would not be able to tolerate the massive blow of refugees. Therefore, it was suggested in the OIC summit in Pakistan to cooperate in establishing a stable and secure situation in Afghanistan.
PM Imran Khan showed concern, in the 17th OIC summit in Pakistan, for the future of the region considering the Afghanistan situation.
“Unless action is taken immediately, Afghanistan is heading for chaos”
Blocked Financial Assets of Afghanistan
Moreover, the US has blocked Afghanistan’s funds of $9 billion to oppose the Taliban government in Afghanistan. This situation has become more of a threat for Afghanistan than the Taliban will ever be. People are unable to do their jobs because of the lack of pays. This move by the US has regressed Afghan women to work as the offices do not have pay to give to their employees.
A resolution was released after the OIC summit in Pakistan to resolve the issue in collaboration with the UN and unblock the $9 billion frozen Afghan assets. The Islamic Development Bank said that it will lead by setting free some assistance at the start of next year and in return Afghan Taliban were asked to observe global human rights and rules. The resolution contained 31 points where no fixed amount for assistance was mentioned.
“To unlock the financial and banking channels to resume liquidity and flow of financial and humanitarian assistance”.
Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan
Pakistan’s FM, Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his speech at the OIC summit in Pakistan talked about the upsetting human rights violation in Afghanistan due to economic pressure. Around 22.8 million people in Afghanistan are faced with food and water shortage. This concludes to million Afghani children’s death due to malnutrition. Due to past conditions and years of conflict, Afghanistan highly depends upon foreign aid that has been frozen for now by the US. The condition will worsen if no action is taken.
Moreover, under such conditions, the right to education for Afghani children will be taken away from them. Because of the lack of proper infrastructure the conditions are bound to worsen in winters that expose people to hard weather conditions. These actions are heading towards creating a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan to which Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressed:
“The OIC Extraordinary session in Islamabad would prove to be a stepping stone in finding solutions to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and this was also an opportunity for world capitals to know about ground realities from Taliban representatives.”
Moreover, KSA FM, Prince Faisal Al-Saud showed concern over Afghanistan’s worsening conditions. These economic conditions are a gateway to human rights violations and no one will be able to stop it after it is too late.
“The people of Afghanistan have suffered for too long,”
After the main conference, Mr. Taha and PM Imran Khan on 19th December 2021 discussed the ongoing situations of Afghanistan and the areas in which Afghanistan needs help from fellow Muslim states. Solutions for the security of the Afghan people and stability of Afghanistan in the region were the top priority discussion in that meeting.
Kashmir Issue and Human Rights Violations
In the side meeting on 19th December, the Kashmir issue was also raised. The struggles of Kashmiris and their human rights violations require immediate solutions. The self-determination right of Kashmiris is under constant threat, which was discussed in the meeting between Mr. Taha and PMIK.
Lastly, the growing Islamophobia in the world was also a topic of discussion between the two. PMIK presented his ideas and Pakistan’s efforts to curb the issue.
In conclusion, the 17th OIC summit in Pakistan ended up with success. The attendees of the summit showed their appreciation for Pakistan for its welcome and hospitality. The summit ended up with determination to resolve the issues faced by the Muslim world especially in Afghanistan.