Pakistan to host extraordinary session of OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss Afghan crisis

Pakistan High Commissioner Vice Admiral (Retired) Ather Mukhtar (L) with Deputy High Commissioner Zulqurnain Ahmad (R). (Photo/Pakistan High Commission)

Pakistan is scheduled to host the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Islamabad on December 19. 

In a statement on Thursday, the Pakistan High Commission in Maldives said the focus of the meeting will be on the humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan. 

“As we all know that Afghanistan currently faces a severe humanitarian crisis, millions of Afghans including women and children, urgently need for medicine and other essential life supplies," said the Pakistan High Commission in the statement. 

 According to the UN World Food Program, around 22.8 million people – which is more than half the population of Afghanistan - face food shortage, while 3.2 million children and 700,000 pregnant and lactating women are at risk of acute malnutrition. 

Saudi Arabia, the OIC Summit Chair, called for an extraordinary meeting to discuss the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan back in November. 

Pakistan welcomed the initiative and offered to host the meeting in Islamabad. 

Pakistan High Commission warned that the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan id deteriorating, and a potential economic collapse cannot be ruled out.  

“This would not only be a humanitarian tragedy but also exacerbate the security situation, spur instability, and lead to a mass exodus of refugees. This would have grave consequences for international peace and stability,” said the High Commission. 

The Pakistan High Commission said that as the collective voice of the Islamic Ummah, the OIC can and must play its part in helping address the urgent humanitarian and economic needs of the Afghan people, and urge other international parties to come forward and assist the Afghan people. 

“Pakistan is confident that participation of the members countries in this meeting would contribute towards achieving meaningful outcome,” said the High Commission. 

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has also been invited to attend the meeting by his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi. 

The Pakistan High Commission said that Pakistan hoped that discussions with the OIC and other international partners will lead to concrete outcomes for intensive engagements with Afghanistan and its people.