ISLAMABAD :(Web Desk)- The first day of the 48th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference kicked off Tuesday at Parliament House, Islamabad, as the Council of the Foreign Ministers (CFMs) of the OIC started discussions to tackle problems faced by the Muslim world.
The theme of the 48th session is “Building Partnerships for Unity, Justice, and Development”. Over a 100 resolutions will be considered during the two-day session.
Addressing the session Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi welcomed the OIC foreign ministers to the conference and said that it is a matter of pride for Pakistan to host the 48th session in 2022, which marks the 77th anniversary of Pakistan’s independence.
“The OIC is the collective voice of nearly two billion Muslims. It is the bridge among the Muslim nations and between the Muslim world and the international community,” he said.
Later during the day, in his keynote address at the inaugural, Prime Minister Imran Khan will spotlight the role and contributions of Pakistan towards the OIC and reflect on the challenges the Muslim world is facing.
The session will be addressed by the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha, Islamic Development Bank President Muhammad Suleiman Al-Jasser, Chinese State Councilor and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wangi Yi.
Meanwhile, a video message by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will be shown on the occasion.
The 48th OIC session coincides with the celebrations of Pakistan Day.
On March 23, the visiting 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.
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.
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, 2nd Session in December 1970, 11th Session in May 1980, 21st Session in April 1993 and the 34th Session in May 2007. The 1st and the 17th Extraordinary Sessions of the OIC CFM, were held in Islamabad, in January 1980 and December 2021, respectively.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha reviewed the agenda of 48th Council of Foreign Ministers and exchanged views on the main outcomes expected from the conference.
They also discussed the issues confronting the Islamic Ummah and the role of the OIC in that regard.
Whilst highlighting the grim human rights and humanitarian situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), the foreign minister expressed appreciation for OIC’s principled position and consistent support for the just struggle of Kashmiris for their right to self-determination.
Welcoming the recent adoption of the resolution at the United Nations General Assembly designating March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia, the foreign minister lauded the support extended by the OIC and its member states to Pakistan’s initiative.
He commended the proposal to appoint OIC’s Special Envoy on Islamophobia to help coordinate the work of the organisation and its member states for addressing discrimination and stigmatisation of the Muslims all over the world.
Referring to the humanitarian and economic crises being faced by the Afghan people, Qureshi stressed the importance of the implementation of decisions taken at the extraordinary session of the OIC-CFM held in Islamabad on December 19 last year and welcomed the operationalisation of the Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan.
The OIC secretary-general assured the foreign minister of the OIC Secretariat’s full support and cooperation during Pakistan’s chairmanship of CFM.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said that the 48th session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers would play an important role in promoting unity of the Islamic Ummah and resolution of the problems being faced by the Muslims.
While talking to media after receiving the OIC Secretary General Hussain Ibrahim Taha here, he said that the session would also take up the recent achievement of the Muslim Ummah against Islamophobia, when the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to observe March 15 day against Islamophobia every year.
He said that Pakistan had moved the resolution on behalf of the OIC.
He said that secretary general of the OIC had also visited Pakistan three months back when an emergency session of OIC Foreign Ministers was held on Afghanistan.
Speaking on the occasion, the OIC secretary-general said that he was very happy to be back in Pakistan.
He said that during the upcoming OIC Foreign Ministers meeting all important issues related to Muslim Ummah would be discussed.
Meanwhile, Islamabad administration asked the government and the opposition to change venues of their public gatherings in the capital and proposed alternatives venues.
According to sources privy to the matter, the Islamabad administration suggested the government to change venue of its public gathering on March 27 and shift it to the Parade Ground Parking area.
Moreover, they further said that the opposition had also agreed to change venue of its public gathering from D-chowk. “The local administration has offered opposition to hold the gathering at sector H-9,” they said.