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mmediate action a must as chaos in Afghanistan suits none: PM

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 19 : Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday while highlighting the collapsing hospital systems, education sector and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan called for the world to take immediate action as Afghanistan was heading towards chaos. “Unless action is taken immediately, Afghanistan is heading for chaos. Any government when it cannot pay salaries to public servants, doctors and nurses, any government is going to collapse. But chaos suits no one. It certainly does not suit the United States,” the prime minister said in his keynote address at the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation being held here.

The prime minister said owing to a dearth of resources, if the Afghan government remained unable to counter terrorism, other countries may also face its spillover impact. Convened by Saudi Arabia as OIC chair and hosted by Pakistan to discuss the Afghanistan humanitarian crisis, the session is being attended by around 20 foreign ministers, 10 deputy foreign ministers and 70 delegates. Mentioning the presence of ISIL (ISKP – Islamic State in Khursan Province) in Afghanistan, and terror attacks inside Pakistan by it from across the Afghan border, the prime minister said the only way to handle the terror outfit was a stable Afghanistan. He warned that the ISIL was capable of carrying out international attacks.

The prime minister said Pakistan had also the same worry having faced the biggest collateral damage of Afghan war with the loss of 80,000 people and the shattered economy, and displacement of 3.5 million people. The prime minister welcomed the delegates in Pakistan and said ironically, Pakistan had hosted OIC moot on Afghanistan 41 years ago as no country suffered from conflicts as much as Afghanistan. He said the situation in Afghanistan was also caused by the years of corrupt government, suspension of foreign aid, freezing of foreign assets and dysfunctional banking system which could lead to the collapse of any state. He said if the world failed to act timely, it would lead to the “biggest man-made disaster.”

The prime minister said the OIC had a huge responsibility as it was our religious duty too to support the suffering Afghan brethren. The prime minister urged the world not link their support with the Taliban rather they must think of 40 million people. However, he also said that Taliban would also have to understand that formation of an inclusive government, respect for human rights particularly women, and disallowing the use of Afghan soil for terrorism in other countries would pave way for international aid to Afghanistan. He also mentioned his meeting with the interim Afghan foreign minister in which he had categorically assured to comply all the aforesaid conditions.

The prime minister however asked the international community to be sensitive to the cultural traditions in Afghanistan as well as adjoining areas in Pakistan particularly considering the girls’ education. He said in case of violation of their traditions, the families would never send their girls to school even if incentivized but they would willingly do it without any stipend if felt satisfied. The prime minister said any chaos in Afghanistan would lead to the mass exodus of refugees which would be unaffordable for Pakistan rather than no developing country.

He said the developed countries had a problem even with few thousand refugees, so how a developing country like Pakistan could host hundreds of thousands of them. The prime minister appreciated the Islamic Development Bank’s proposal for an immediate and long-term support mechanism for Afghanistan and hoped the moot would come up with a proper roadmap to deal with the situation. Kashmir and Palestine He also called for OIC’s unified response on the issues of Kashmir and Palestine where people were struggling for their democratic rights also guaranteed by the United Nations. The people of Palestine and Kashmir look to us. They want to see a unified response from us about the heir human rights, democratic rights, the right which had been given by the United Nations Security Council but unfortunately not implemented. He urged the OIC countries to raise the issue at every forum and show a unified stance.

Islamophobia Coming to Islamophobia, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the refugee crisis had exacerbated the phenomenon when terrorism and Islam were connected by the west making the western Muslims suffer. The prime minister said the absence of any intellectual response to such a situation also led to the situation as the west’s attitude towards religion was different. He said Pakistan had formed a Rahmatullil Alamin Authority to coordinate with world Muslim scholars to consider the intellectual response to the subjects like cartoons or insulting of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) to make the West understand as how Muslims revered him. Moreover, the Authority would also raise the morality and ethics of society by teachings Seeratun Nabi (PBUH) to the people besides bringing unity in the society.

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