March 25, 2023

afghanistan: OIC meet on Afghanistan concludes without any pledge for aid – Times of India

ISLAMABAD: The extraordinary conference of the member nations of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) on Afghanistan concluded in Islamabad on Sunday without any direct announcement of economic and humanitarian assistance for the war-ravaged country.
Envoys from 57 Islamic nations and observer delegations participated in the conference in Islamabad, the biggest event on Afghanistan after the fall of the US-backed government in the country. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August had prompted the international community to freeze the country’s billions of dollars in aid and assets, plunging the nation of 38 million into the worst economic and humanitarian disaster.
Pakistani officials said that 70 delegations, including interim Taliban foreign minister Mullah Amir Khan Muttaqi and delegates from the US, China, Russia the European Union and the UN, took part in the event.
At the end of the session, a draft resolution was issued that was full of phrases, like the extraordinary session of the OIC council of foreign ministers welcomed the initiative, commended Pakistan’s role, recognised the deep-rooted Islamic values that form the ethos of the Muslim society. Moreover, the resolution carried statements, such as the body of Islamic nations expressed deep alarm at the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. It noted with deep concern the breakdown of Afghanistan’s health system, disease outbreaks and severe malnutrition. Furthermore, it urged on necessity for continuation of economic cooperation to the country and reaffirmed strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan.
Speakers also called for a quick opening of the country’s banking system. The president of the Islamic Development Bank Muhammad Sulaiman al-Jasser, who attended the meet, offered several concrete financing proposals. He said the IDB can manage trusts that could be used to move money into Afghanistan, jumpstart businesses and help salvage the deeply troubled economy. The OIC also resolved Sunday to arrange for a team of international Muslim scholars to engage with the Taliban on issues “such as, but not limited to, tolerance and moderation in Islam, equal access to education and women’s rights in Islam”.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan, during his keynote address at the meeting, warned the global community that situation in Afghanistan would become the biggest “man-made crisis in the world” if it did not act immediately. Khan said no other country had suffered as much as Afghanistan, adding that 75% of the country’s budget was supported by foreign aid before the Taliban had seized control. He urged Washington to delink the Taliban government from the Afghan citizens. “They have been in conflict with the Taliban for 20 years but this concerns the people of Afghanistan,” Khan said, reiterating that Afghanistan would head for chaos if the world failed to take immediate action. “Such a situation will not suit the US because chaos means the inability to fight terrorism.” He noted that the Taliban had to fulfil the commitments they had made to the international community, which included forming an inclusive government and ensuring women’s rights. Earlier, the acting Afghan foreign minister calimed the Taliban government has restored peace and security and done much to address demands for more inclusive government with respect for human rights, including the rights of women.
(With inputs from agencies)

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