ISLAMABAD: Pakistani information minister Chaudhry Fawad Husain said on Tuesday Islamabad was likely to host an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers’ conference next month to appeal to the Muslim Ummah to work together for the people of Afghanistan.
Already battling a severe drought and the coronavirus pandemic, Afghanistan’s financial crisis has worsened since the return of the Taliban to power in mid-August.
Billions of dollars in international aid have dried up as the international community works out how to interact with the hardline movement, and billions more in foreign currency reserves are locked up in vaults in the West.
A report by the non-profit group CARE last month said close to half of Afghanistan’s population – around 19 million people – face acute hunger. A recent UN report said as much as 97% of the population could sink below the poverty line by mid-2022.
“We are willing to take all actions, whatever we can do, to help the people of Pakistan,” Husain said at a press conference, adding that Pakistan would host an OIC conference in Islamabad “that is likely to be held next month where we will appeal to the Muslim Ummah to come together and help the people of Afghanistan.”
He also outlined other decisions taken by cabinet in support of the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.
“The cabinet has decided today that we will send a sufficient amount of wheat and rice to Afghanistan,” Husain said. “We have slashed all taxes on Afghanistan imports.”
In a tweet on Tuesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan also urged the international community to help Afghanistan.
Referring to comments by the executive director of the World Food Program (WFP) that the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan “is going to be hell on earth,” Khan said:
“Now WFP chief issues alert. Pak will continue to provide all possible relief but int [international] community must act now. It has moral obligation to avert this humanitarian disaster confronting Afghan ppl [people],” Khan said.
Shehryar Afridi urges OIC
The Chairman of Pakistan Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, Shehryar Khan Afridi, on Tuesday urged the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Special Representative for Jammu and Kashmir to consider economic sanctions and embargoes against India for human rights violations committed by its troops in J&K.
He expressed these views while chairing a special meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir attended by the visiting OIC delegation led by special representative for Jammu and Kashmir, Yousuf Al Dubai.
Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan, Khalid Khurshid, and Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi, specially attended the meeting. A delegation from All Parties Hurriyat Conference AJK (APHC-AJK) chapter and Advisory boards of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir also attended the meeting.
Shehryar Khan Afridi welcomed the OIC special envoy for Kashmir and said the OIC is key stakeholder of Muslim Ummah and the OIC contact group must play its due role to help resolve the Kashmir dispute. He said the Secretary General of the OIC has been playing a pivotal role in raising the humanitarian aspect of the Kashmir dispute, which is a test case for the global stakeholders of the global community.
Chairman Kashmir Committee told the OIC members that the rape is being used by Indian troops as a tool to suppress the Kashmiris freedom struggle. He said the world has banned the use of pellet guns even against animals but the Indian forces are using this lethal weapon against the Kashmiri Muslims.