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Muslim world needs a vibrant OIC for sustainable growth

Islamabad, MAR 26 /DNA/ – Speakers at the Devcom-Pakistan webinar were of the opinion that China’s support and dynamic Muslim leadership will help the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to emerge into a vibrant forum. For a collective economic progress of 57 Muslim countries, the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers need to focus on the present-day challenges. Traditional and nontraditional security, political harmony and tolerance shall be on the top of the shared agenda coupled with a progressive action plan. A rapid progressive approach is a must if the Muslim countries desire to be relevant to the global agenda of peace and prosperity.

Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) organized the webinar on Saturday to critically review the outcome of the 48th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM). The panel of experts included former ISI chief and prolific writer and geopolitical analyst Lt. General (Retd) Muhammad Asad Durrani, Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director and geopolitical analyst Munir Ahmed, former Additional Director General FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) and cyber security specialist Ammar Jafri, environmentalist Azhar Qureshi, and gender and international relations specialist Farhar Rana.

Lt. General (Retd) Muhammad Asad Durrani said the OIC needs to improve its structure for strategic gain in the fast moving geopolitical situation and balance of power. Dynamics of the world hierarchy are on the move, and we need to understand the future options for Pakistan and the Muslim world more seriously and diligently. The documents like Islamabad Declaration would not change anything around the Muslim world especially for the Pakistan while social sector challenges are blowing up the strategic options.

Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed said the OIC-CFMs could not come up with any time-bound strategic plan. A sideline meeting of the COMSTECH, however, had a meaningful brainstorming to use science and technology cooperation. Such meetings and forums could never translate the agenda into on-ground action and support to the least developed Muslim countries. The China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabian triangular cooperation shall lead the OIC future discourse and cooperation. Nontraditional security threats are looming around and the OIC has no action plan and required funding to cope up with the threats. Most of the OIC countries are lagging behind the UN Sustainable Development Goals, many of them even have no idea what the SDGs are and how they can contribute to their social and economic uplift.  

Ammar Jafri said the future of nations depends on cyber security. Pakistan has much advanced knowledge and can contribute to infrastructure and cyber security system development and training. The cyber systems can also play a significant role in all types of data management for the planning and development agenda.  

Azhar Qureshi mentioned that COMSTECH has the potential to play its role in using science and technology in various sectors to improve life, livelihood and food production. We need to make the masses understand the science of climate change that is hampering everything around us.

Farhat Rana said women are invisible in the OIC regime. The OIC countries cannot progress without participation of women at all forums. The OIC shall have a proactive gender development and engagement policy.         

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