Pakistan attains yet another diplomatic triumph by conducting the 48th Session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad on 22nd to 24th March. The theme of the summit was ‘Partnering for Unity, Justice, and Development. About Thirty-two Foreign Ministers and more than 700 delegates had attended the 48th OIC Foreign Ministers’ Conference. The meeting was deliberated upon the challenges faced by the Muslim Ummah and the way forward to promote unity as well as economic and trade relations between the member states. The participants of the summit pledged for collective unity, prosperity, and sovereignty of the Muslim world across the globe. It was the second event of OIC hosted by Pakistan in three months, which is the reflection of Pakistan’s active and leading diplomatic role within the Muslim World. Recently, on December 19, 2021, the 47th session of OIC-CFMs was also held in Islamabad, where the main agenda of the extraordinary session of OIC was the resumption of humanitarian aid to war-torn Afghanistan which was unanimously agreed by the participants to the conference.
On 22nd March the inaugural session was held at Parliament House Islamabad, the session was attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan along with envoys from across the Muslim world. The session as per the theme signifies the urgent need for collaboration, institutional framework, and proposed solutions for the pertinent issues faced by the Muslim World, particularly focusing on the oppression of Kashmiris and Palestinians. Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphatically stated that the strong voice of the OIC as a representative body of a 1.5 billion population is crucial to address lingering issues of Kashmir and Palestine, which unfortunately the Muslim Ummah has failed to deal with. The visiting dignitaries appreciated the efforts of Pakistan regarding the recent session to draw the attention of the world towards Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, the stability in Afghanistan is extremely important and Pakistan called the lifting of international sanctions to avert the humanitarian crisis looming in Afghanistan. Similarly, the establishment of the Afghanistan humanitarian trust fund and grant of aid is a diplomatic success of Pakistan which gives a strong message of solidarity to the people of Afghanistan. President Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser has sought generous support from the member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), development partners, humanitarian organizations, and donors to successfully operationalize the newly formed Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund with the efforts of Pakistan. The sincere efforts of Pakistan to promote Muslim unity for the peace and development of the world are also admirable. Chinese Foreign Minister participated in the very first session of OIC and ensured the Muslim world that “China is ready to work with Islamic countries to promote a multi-polar world, democracy in international relations and diversity of human civilizations, and make unremitting efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind”.
Pertinent to mention that Pakistan recently secured a diplomatic victory at the UN, the world organization adopted Pakistan’s resolution to declare a day to combat Islamophobia. Prime Minister Imran Khan is making sincere efforts to bring Ummah to one page. Pakistan has always raised the voice for oppressed Muslims whether they are in Palestine or Kashmir. OIC is a very important forum to discuss the issues and challenges being faced by Muslim countries. The 48th session of OIC as per the theme signifies the urgent need for collaboration, institutional framework, and proposed solutions for the important issues faced by the Muslim World, particularly focusing on the oppression of Kashmiris and Palestinians for decades. The summit vow to focus on a wide range of topics and issues of concern of the Muslim community such as the fight against violence, extremism, terrorism, Islamophobia, and defamation of religious values respectively. Furthermore, the Council has discussed the situation of Muslim minorities and communities in non-member states, as well as the promotion of dialogue among civilizations, cultures and religions, and other emerging matters. One of the prime focuses was the evaluation of xenophobic and extremist tendencies. The forum has also discussed, growing tensions and instability in various regions of the world, the intensifying protracted conflicts, and deceitful deliberate attempts to tarnish the sacred image of Islam and to undermine the Muslim world’s peaceful coexistence with other cultures and religions, it is more imperative than ever to project to the international community the true humanistic nature and tolerance of Islam.
With this event, Islamabad would further upscale commitment to the principles and objectives of the OIC Charter, particularly the provisions on promoting and enhancing the bonds of unity and solidarity among the member states in political, economic, social, cultural, scientific, and other vital areas. Furthermore, the event has provided an opportunity of enhancing cooperation for sustainable socio-economic development, conducive to the real integration of member states into the global economy, based on the principles of partnership and equality. On humanitarian grounds, the discussions between the representatives to critically examine the main humanitarian policy and operational priorities for 2022 focused on humanitarian activities in Afghanistan, the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, Rohingyas of Myanmar, and the Middle East.
To conclude, the OIC-CFMs will further boost Pakistan’s posture in global geopolitical and geostrategic affairs. It will also assist in closely engaging with the member states to further establish its inter-state level relations. For Pakistan, the summit may prove a hallmark of its policy and goals attainment. As the world is heading towards another cold war, with states having been sucked into bloc politics, the Muslim countries should not drag themselves into bloc politics and rather show their power for bringing peace in the world through unity and collective efforts. Now it is high time for the unity of members of the OIC against the oppressions of Muslims in the world and for the development of Muslim countries to show the rest of the world the power of unity and the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course, due to structural reasons, the OIC is not in a position to enforce its decisions on India and Israel, regarding oppression in Kashmir and Palestine but the decisions do have the force of moral pressure. Last but not the least, in the future; Pakistan should also take the lead in the area of science and technology. In particular, given Pakistan’s achievements in nuclear technology and its track record of the flawless operation of civil nuclear facilities, Pakistan is uniquely placed to offer cooperation, training, and education to OIC member states in the peaceful uses of nuclear technology in areas such as power generation, medicine, and agriculture. This could be one of the areas that Pakistan should promote in the next CFMs moot.