ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is making efforts to make the Organization of Islamic Cooperation a ‘mini-United Nations’, transforming it into a more effective organization that can help resolve the issues facing Muslim-majority countries, officials said.
Senior officials at the foreign ministry told The Nation that the OIC had the potential to be transformed into a stronger organization as it represented a good percentage of humanity.
One official said: “For decades, the OIC has been condemning excesses against the Muslims or recommending certain actions which are never accepted by the countries concerned. This should end now. The OIC should be like a mini-UN which can exert pressure.”
He said: “There are several countries in the OIC like Pakistan that are powerful and have their say in the international affairs. The OIC needs to be respected by the world. Its decisions can be implemented if we (the OIC members) stand together.”
Another official said that Islamabad believed a powerful OIC could help resolve the Kashmir issue. “The time for condemnations is long over. We have to go for Kashmir solution through practical steps. If the OIC members stand united, we can put pressure on India to resolve the Kashmir issue,” he said.
The official said countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran need to play an active role as they had good ties with India. “The OIC represents around 20 percent of the humanity. We are itself a mini-UN,” he said.
On Sunday, the OIC stressed the need for resolving lingering disputes and conflicts through negotiations and by the use of other peaceful means. The call was made in the declaration issued after a two-day 45th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC meeting held in Dhaka, said a foreign ministry statement. The theme of the meeting was: ‘Islamic values for sustainable peace, solidarity and development’.
The member states agreed that the OIC peace and security architecture and the good offices of the secretary-general need to be activated for the purpose.
The declaration said the OIC countries reaffirmed their principled support for the right of the Palestinian people to regain their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination, and to the independence and sovereignty of the State of Palestine on the pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
In this context, they rejected the recent US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and condemned its decision to move its embassy to the city on May 14.
The OIC member states invited all members of the international community to remain committed to the status of Al-Quds al-Sharif and all related UN resolutions.
They also reaffirmed firm solidarity with the people of occupied Kashmir, who have been struggling for their right to self-determination.
The OIC member countries expressed deep concern over the recent systematic brutal acts perpetrated by security forces against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
They reiterated support for the settlement of the Afghan conflict through an inclusive Afghan-led process of national reconciliation.
Earlier, Pakistan reiterated commitment to continue its efforts for creating an environment that fosters cooperation and development in the region and beyond.
In her statement at the OIC FMs’ meeting, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua said development was closely linked with peace and security and “our efforts towards sustainable development must be synchronized with efforts for lasting peace”.
Janjua said without resolving disputes, the dreams of economic growth, the realization of the full economic potential of our countries, development as well as stability would remain unfulfilled.
She emphasized that OIC fraternity must redouble its efforts to coordinate more closely and reach out to important constituencies in the Western world to halt the negative developments that are aimed at “defaming our religion.”
Janjua said Pakistan expressed full solidarity with the Rohingya Muslims and joined the international community in reiterating its strong condemnation of brutal violence and denial of legitimate rights of the Rohingyas.
On Afghanistan, the foreign secretary said Pakistan was deeply concerned over continued strife and instability in Afghanistan as peace and stability in that country is in the best interest of the region.
She said Pakistan was closely working with the Afghanistan government and the international community for reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan and fully supported Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s initiative for dialogue with Taliban.