ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday denied the existence of a “radical” version of Islam, saying there was only one kind of Islam that was preached by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Speaking at the 48th session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Islamabad, the premier 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.
FM Qureshi at OIC
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday said the promotion of solidarity and unity within the ‘Muslim Ummah’ was one of the central pillars of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
During his speech, FM Qureshi expressed “profound gratitude to the OIC General Secretariat for facilitating this important meeting”.
He added, “Promoting solidarity and cooperation within the Muslim Ummah is one of the central pillars of Pakistan’s foreign policy. As Chair of the OIC-CFM during 2022-23, Pakistan’s overarching goal shall be to solidify this bridging role further.”
Speaking about OIC’s role in Afghanistan, the minister said in the previous moot, the OIC had agreed to establish the OIC Humanitarian Trust Fund, appointed a Special Envoy of the OIC Secretary General, launched an Afghanistan Food Security Programme.
Welcoming the recent designation of March 15 as the “International Day to Combat Islamophobia” by the UN General Assembly, Qureshi said this was made possible owing to the unity of the OIC members.
FM Qureshi added that there was a need for unity by jointly addressing the challenges and conflicts faced by the Muslim world.
The Muslims of Palestine and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) are still reeling under abominable subjugation, he said, calling for the resolution of these conflicts.
“It is incumbent to resolve these challenges by partnering with the international community as well. Beyond adopting resolutions, we must take concrete and tangible steps towards permanent solutions.”
The foreign minister said there was a need to support the efforts of the Afghan authorities to eliminate Daesh (IS-K) and other terror outfits. “We must guard against spoilers that wish to continue destabilizing Afghanistan and using its territory to promote terrorism,” he added.
About climate change, Qureshi said that the OIC must call for additional commitments by the international community to achieve the agreed mitigation targets, support for adaptation, and loss and damage in developing countries due to climate change.
OIC moot kicks off
The inaugural session of the two-day meeting of the Council of the Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at Parliament House is being attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan along with envoys from across the Muslim world.
Hassoumi Massoudou, foreign minister of the Republic of Niger and also the Chair of the 47th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, focused on the objectives of OIC and stressed the need for collaborated efforts to address the common challenges.
He handed over the chair of the 48th session of the OIC-CFM to Pakistan represented by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi received the visiting foreign ministers on their arrival at the Parliament House.
PM Imran’s keynote
PM Imran in his keynote address will highlight Pakistan’s role and contribution towards OIC and deliberate on the challenges faced by the Muslim world.
Foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, Secretary-General OIC Hissein Brahim Taha, President Islamic Development Bank Dr Muhammad Suleiman Al-Jasser, Chinese State Councilor, and Foreign Minister Wangi Yi will address the session.
The video message of Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres will be shown on the occasion. The theme of the session is ‘Building Partnerships for Unity, Justice, and Development,’ which will be held at the Parliament House.
More than 100 resolutions will be considered during the two-day session.
The session coincides with the 75th-anniversary celebrations of Pakistan’s independence. On March 23, the foreign ministers will visit the Pakistan Day parade venue and witness the professional capability of Pakistan’s armed forces and the traditional floats of all the provinces, reflecting the national unity.
Later in the day, Foreign Minister Qureshi along with OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha will hold a joint press stakeout following the conclusion of the session.
Afghanistan, Kashmir on agenda
The summit will also discuss developments in Afghanistan and its humanitarian consequences for the Afghan people and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, it added.
Many African issues will also be on the summit’s agenda, including the situation in Mali, the Sahel region, and Lake Chad, and the situation in Central Africa and the Republic of Guinea. The OIC foreign ministers will also discuss developments in Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and other regions during the summit.
OIC moots in Pakistan
Pakistan has a proud history of hosting major OIC events including Summits and Council of Foreign Minister (CFM) meetings. The country hosted the 2nd OIC Summit in Lahore, in February 1974. An Extraordinary OIC Summit was held in Islamabad in 1997 on the occasion of Pakistan’s Golden Jubilee.
Pakistan also hosted the OIC CFMs on four occasions – the 2nd session in December 1970, the 11th session in May 1980, the 21st session in April 1993, and the 34th session in May 2007.
Furthermore, the 1st and the 17th extraordinary sessions of the OIC foreign ministers were held in Islamabad in January 1980 and December 2021, respectively.