PM urges OIC role to address Kashmir and Palestine issues

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the inaugural session of 48th Council of Foreign Minister of the OIC, here Tuesday. State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi is also seen in the picture. - NNI photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphatically stated that a strong voice of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as the representative body of the 1.5 billion population is crucial to address lingering issues of Kashmir and Palestine.
In his keynote address at the 48th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers on Tuesday, the prime minister said the Muslim countries should not drag themselves into bloc politics and rather show their power for bringing peace in the world.
The prime minister regretted that the Muslim Ummah has failed to make any impact for the resolution of Kashmir and Palestine disputes. He said, “We [OIC] have failed both the Palestinians and the people of Kashmir.”
“I am sad to say that we have been able to make no impact at all,” he said, adding that Muslim countries are “a divided house.” He said the international community promised the Kashmiris to decide their future, regretting that the special status was also taken away illegally by India on 5th August 2019. .
The prime minister made it clear that altering the demography of the population by turning the majority Kashmiri Muslims into minority is a war crime under the Geneva Convention.
Regarding Afghanistan, the prime minister said a stable Afghan government is the only way to stop international terrorism emanating from its soil. He termed the stability in Afghanistan as extremely important and called for lifting of international sanctions to avert the humanitarian crisis looming in Afghanistan. He also urged the international community to help the Afghan people in resolving the issues.
On the Ukraine situation, the prime minister said the OIC, China and all the non-partisan countries should use their influence to resolve the crisis. Khan said that he will hold a discussion with the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on how China and OIC can step in to mediate towards a ceasefire of the Ukraine war.
“This conflict will have great consequences for the world,” he warned, adding that Pakistan is already suffering as oil, wheat and gas prices had shot up in Pakistan due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“We, like everyone else in the world, are all worried about what’s happening there [in Ukraine],” Khan said. “May I suggest that the OIC, during its discussions, the foreign ministers, should think about how we represent 1.5 billion people, how we can mediate, how we can bring about a ceasefire, how can we bring about an end to the conflict.”
The prime minister especially congratulated the OIC members, over the landmark resolution passed at the United Nations for declaring March 15 as the Day to Combat Islamophobia. He stressed that Islam does not equate terrorism and rejects the notion of differentiating between a “moderate and terrorist Muslim”.
He pointed out that the 9/11 incident led to demonising of Muslims across the world and also dismissed the criticism against Muslims on denying the right of freedom of expression to those who mocked or ridiculed Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAAW).
The prime minister mentioned that one of the ideals of the OIC is to protect Islamic values, and expressed concern over the culture of obscenity on social media. Khan sought consideration by the Islamic platform to suggest ways for combating vulgarity, impacting the social values and family system.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the ongoing second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will reinforce Pakistan’s efforts for economic development with enhanced cooperation in areas such as industrial development, agriculture and information technology (IT).
The prime minister said this during a meeting with State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi who called on him on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 48th session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.
The prime minister warmly welcomed Wang Yi to Pakistan, and conveyed his heartfelt condolences on the loss of precious lives in a crash of China Eastern flight on Monday last. He also welcomed Chinese investors to benefit from attractive opportunities in Pakistan.
Both the dignitaries discussed the current trajectory of Pakistan-China bilateral ties, and the evolving regional and international scenario. The two sides discussed the situation in Ukraine and reiterated the need for a solution through sustained dialogue and diplomacy.
The prime minister briefed the Chinese dignitary on India’s egregious human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and its irresponsible behaviour that is an impediment to regional peace and security.
He also apprised Wang Yi of the so-called “accidental” firing of a missile from India into Pakistan’s territory and underlined Pakistan’s call for a joint probe, and the need to ensure that it does not occur again.
The prime minister emphasised that both countries must continue deeper engagement to promote peace, and stability in Afghanistan and avert humanitarian crisis there.
The Chinese state councillor conveyed the most cordial greetings of president Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang and reaffirmed the centrality of Pakistan-China all weather strategic cooperative partnership.
Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday that China and Pakistan share concern about “spill-over effects of unilateral sanctions” on Russia over its war against Ukraine and called for a ceasefire and diplomatic resolution of the crisis.
“Both expressed concerns about the spill-over effects of unilateral sanctions,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement following a meeting on Monday in Pakistan between the neighbours’ foreign ministers.
“Both called for a ceasefire through diplomatic dialogue and hope that based on the principle of indivisible security, a fundamental solution to the Ukraine problem can be found,” the Chinese ministry said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has underscored the special significance of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relationship and called for further cementing them in different fields.
The prime minister said this during a meeting with Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud who called on him on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 48th session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.
The prime minister said that the Pakistan-Saudi relationship is based on close fraternal ties, historic links, and support at the grassroots level. He conveyed cordial greetings for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The prime minister commended the leadership role of the Kingdom to advance the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation into a vital platform for Islamic world’s causes. He stressed for enhanced cooperation to address challenges confronting the Muslim Ummah, especially collective action by OIC member states for dealing with Islamophobia.
Views were exchanged on regional and international issues including the situation in Afghanistan and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The prime minister also thanked the Saudi foreign minister for the Kingdom’s steadfast support to the just cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Saudi foreign minister congratulated the prime minister on the successful holding of the 48th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad.
Separately, Prime Minister Khan has reiterated Pakistan’s unequivocal support for the rights of the Palestinian people and their just struggle.
He was talking to Foreign Minister of Palestine Dr Riyad al-Maliki on the sidelines of the 48th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.
Emphasising the importance of fulfilling the aspirations of the Palestinian people, Khan said the unresolved issues of Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir are among the root causes of instability in the respective regions. He added that the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir are undergoing unabated repression for demanding their inalienable right to self-determination.
On the occasion, the Palestinian foreign minister expressed his gratitude for Pakistan’s unwavering support and principled position on Palestine.
During the meeting, views were exchanged on excellent bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Palestine as well as the collaboration at regional and international fora including the OIC.
Earlier, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to further strengthen their cooperation on regional and international matters, and keep close collaboration at multilateral fora, including the OIC and the United Nations.
An understanding to this effect came during a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 48th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.
The two foreign ministers exchanged views on bilateral cooperation and regional and global issues. Both the foreign ministers reviewed the OIC’s importance as a vital platform for the Islamic Ummah and its role in the advancement of common causes of the Muslim World.
Speaking on the occasion, Qureshi said that Pakistan supports Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and has always condemned drone and missile attacks by Houthis on Saudi soil.
In his remarks, Prince Faisal underscored that Saudi Arabia attaches importance to its fraternal and strategic relationship with Pakistan and conveyed Saudi Arabia’s appreciation for the role played by Pakistan in the OIC.
Meanwhile, recalling Pakistan’s Vision Central Asia policy, Prime Minister Imran Khan has underscored the need to intensify cooperation with Kazakhstan in enhancing trade and connectivity between the two countries.
The prime minister said this during a meeting with Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tileuberdi on the sidelines of the 48th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers on Tuesday.
Pakistan’s bilateral relations with Kazakhstan as well as regional and international issues were discussed during the meeting.
The Kazakh foreign minister briefed the prime minister on the developments in Kazakhstan and its bilateral cooperation with Pakistan.
The prime minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to continue enhancing cooperation between the two countries in all areas of mutual interest at regional and international fora like the UN, OIC, SCO and ECO. He said that he looks forward to the visit of President Tokayev to Pakistan later this year.
Separately, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tileuberdi on the sidelines of the 48th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers on Tuesday.
Welcoming the honourable guest, Qureshi said his visit will further strengthen bilateral relations between Pakistan and Kazakhstan.
The two foreign ministers reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation including in the areas of trade, economy, development, security and defence. They underscored the need for reactivating the existing institutional mechanisms between the two countries. – TLTP

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