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Sunday, May 22, 2022
EditorialOIC Council of Foreign Ministers’ charter

OIC Council of Foreign Ministers’ charter

The extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Council of Foreign Ministers has concluded with a loud and clear message that Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir disputes are important for the organization, no matter how some countries have established ties with India and Israel, the two occupation forces in the modern world. The declaration of the meeting, attended by 57 countries has in clear terms stood by Palestine and Kashmir causes. OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha, without mincing any words, said: “Palestine remains high on the agenda of OIC and was discussed thoroughly. All participating ministers reiterated their support for the Palestine cause… the question of Jammu and Kashmir was thoroughly discussed. This is a just cause. It has our full support. The conference reaffirmed our stance and reiterated support for the right of Kashmiri people to self-determination.” The moot also discussed Afghanistan but failed to come up with any tangible action. The conference wasted the opportunity to urge the Taliban regime to liberalize their policies for women and girls’ education, and in return, the bloc would establish diplomatic ties with Kabul. Similarly, the moot hardly persuaded the sides involved in the Yemen conflict to step towards a truce and the end of the conflict. Speakers, however, spoke on Islamophobia, terrorism, and steps to boost mutual cooperation in economic and cultural sectors. Chinese interest in the OIC moot was a welcome addition.

Though the conference has ended with a 70-point Islamabad Declaration, its effectiveness has yet to be seen. The gatherings of the OIC hardly get international attention, because of the divided house and words sans actions. For example, when the OIC meeting was underway, the rulers of two Muslim countries, Egypt and the UAE sat with their Israeli counterparts in Egypt. Since no statement was issued at the end of the meeting, one can hardly imagine any favourable outcome for the Palestinians. Likewise, Iran and Saudi Arabia have yet to establish their diplomatic ties. It is quite unfortunate that a recent effort to normalize ties between the two traditional archrivals was sabotaged by Saudi Arabia, when it, in the midst of the dialogue, provoked Iran by executing 41 Saudi Shias. In such circumstances, OIC’s resolutions would remain a good file work. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has rightly said that the ministerial committee of OIC should “go beyond resolutions”. This can only be materialized when all Islamic countries end mutual conflicts and help each other in the field of education and technology. The OIC will become a powerful voice only once its members are technologically advanced.

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