ISLAMABAD: Pakistan hosted the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan in Islamabad today.
Over 150 delegates from 54 countries participated in the historic session in Islamabad including envoys from the US, UK, France, China, Russia and the European Union in attendance.
The session provided a rare platform to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan which has escalated ever since the fall of Kabul in August this year.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi highlighted the fact that Afghanistan could well become the worst humanitarian crisis in the world and that the world needed to provide a collective helping hand to address this crisis.
FM Qureshi clarified that the meeting was about the people of Afghanistan, not about the government, reiterating Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance that common Afghan citizens shouldn’t be punished by the world because the global community has not yet recognised the government.
According to FM Qureshi, Pakistan could act as a catalyst and a congruent to address the Afghanistan Crisis.
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud who is also the Chair of the OIC highlighted the fact that economic difficulties in Afghanistan could lead to a far greater humanitarian crisis that would inevitably impact regional and global peace.
Prince Faisal affirmed Saudi Arabia’s resolve to address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and said that Saudi Arabia had recently delivered food supplies to the people of Afghanistan on the directives of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
The Secretary-General of the OIC, Hissein Brahim Taha said: “The Organization of Islamic Cooperation supports the peace process in Afghanistan and is ready to join in regional and international efforts to drive peace for the Afghan people and make the necessary contacts in this regard.
The OIC Secretary-General also highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to the issues facing the Muslim Ummah and said that Pakistan had a keen dedication to the peace and the security of the world.
In an exclusive conversation with The Pakistan Daily, acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, H.E Amir Khan Mutaqqi stressed that his own government had a plan to address the humanitarian crisis in his country but they needed the support of the international community.
“We have aid organisations present in Afghanistan but we need support to ensure that help reaches the people of Afghanistan so we can move towards job creation and uplifting the Afghan economy. Afghanistan is a connecting point between central and south Asia which is great for all our neighbours,” Muttaqi told The Pakistan Daily on the sidelines of the OIC meeting in Islamabad.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, H.E Mansoor Ahmad Khan told The Pakistan Daily: “For the last few months the humanitarian situation from Afghanistan has continued to deteriorate because of the political changes that happened. The banking systems and financial transactions have been seriously affected adding to the crisis. This is getting worse because of a severe winter and a prolonged drought that Afghanistan is facing.”
H.E Mansoor Ahmad Khan said that the Extraordinary Session of the OIC would address the humanitarian crisis and come up with solutions to address the problems of the poor people of Afghanistan.
When asked whether the session was a precursor to international recognition of the new Taliban government in Afghanistan, Ambassador Mansoor Ahmad Khan said: “Recognition is a legal process but since Taliban have taken over Afghanistan and that is the ground reality, therefore, Pakistan has continued to emphasize that there is a need for active engagement between Afghanistan and other countries. The effort has been that Afghanistan continues to interact with the international community.