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Pakistan urges world to engage with Taliban to avert the emerging crisis in Afghanistan

By Ali Furqan

Islamabad: Pakistan said on Friday that the purpose of OIC Foreign Minister summit is not to recognize the Taliban government, but urging the world to engage with them to avert the emerging crisis. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the media while informing them about the OIC summit that the focus of the conference is the situation in Afghanistan and to be more specific the humanitarian crisis in the neighboring country. He says there is difference in recognition and engagement, Pakistan is not asking the world to recognise the Taliban but talk to them to avert the emerging crisis. He says it would be a good opportunity for the world and Taliban to understand each other’s point of view.DRAFT RESOLUTION Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers on the “Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan” Islamabad – Islamic Republic of Pakistan 19 December 2021 17th Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers 19 December 2021, Islamabad “Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan” Draft Resolution The Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation held in Islamabad, Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 19 December 2021 (15 Jumadhul Awwal 1443 AH) Welcoming the initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as the Chair of the Islamic Summit, to convene an Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, Commending the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for hosting the meeting in Islamabad on 19 December 2021, Recalling the efforts exerted by the Republic of Indonesia to highlight the grave humanitarian situation in Afghanistan on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly and the shared attention and concern by the Muslim countries to make headway in addressing the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, Guided by the principles and objectives enshrined in the Charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the relevant resolutions of the Islamic Summit, Council of Foreign Ministers, and the Final Communique of the Open-Ended Extraordinary meeting of the OIC Executive Committee at the level of Permanent Representatives held in Jeddah on 22 August 2021 on the situation in Afghanistan, Recalling the Makkah Declaration adopted by more than 1200 eminent Islamic scholars at the International Conference of the Muslim World League held in Makkah in 2019, Recognizing the deep-rooted Islamic values that form the ethos of the Muslim society, Recognizing also that development, peace, security, stability, and human rights are inter-linked and mutually reinforcing, Reaffirming strong commitment of the OIC Member States to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan, Recalling that the current humanitarian, social and economic situation is, inter alia, linked to the prolonged conflict in Afghanistan and in this regard, underlining the importance of investing in human development for achieving sustainable peace and development in the country, Expressing solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and reiterating the commitment of the OIC Member States to help bring peace, security, stability, and development to Afghanistan, Proceeding from the UN’s estimates that the 60% of Afghanistan’s 38 million people face “crisis levels of hunger” and that the situation is getting worse every day, Expressing deep alarm at the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, in particular the warning issued by the World Food Programme that 22.8 million people – more than half the population of Afghanistan – face acute food shortage; 3.2 million children and 700,000 pregnant and lactating women are at a risk of acute malnutrition, Noting necessity for continuation of economic cooperation to improve humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and in this regard implementation of large-scale energy, transport and communication projects including the TAPI pipeline, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (PAT) electricity transmission line, to create new opportunities for increasing social well-being of the Afghan people, Taking note of the importance of the 15th Summit of the Economic Cooperation organization, which took in Ashgabat on 28 November 2021, and the Ashgabat consensus for actions adopted at this Summit to address the humanitarian issues in Afghanistan, Noting with deep concern the breakdown of Afghanistan’s health system, disease outbreaks and severe malnutrition, in particular in the face of Covid-19 pandemic, Noting also that according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, 665,000 people have been newly displaced within Afghanistan between January and September 2021 – in addition to the 2.9 million people already internally displaced by conflict in Afghanistan, Recognizing disproportionate impact of Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation on its neighbouring countries, especially in terms of fresh influx of refugees and irregular migration, Recalling that millions of Afghan refugees are already residing in the neighbouring countries and beyond due to the protracted conflict and ensuing economic and social challenges spanning over 40 years, Commending Pakistan and Iran’s hospitality, guided by the Islamic virtues of generosity and compassion, in hosting millions of Afghan refugees for over four decades, Expressing deep alarm at the worsening economic situation in Afghanistan, which is further compounded by the continued freeze of overseas Afghan assets as well as other international assistance, exacerbating the urgent cash-flow problems, including payment of remuneration to public officials, and hindering the provision of essential public and social services to the people of Afghanistan, Underscoring that an economic meltdown in Afghanistan would lead to a mass exodus of refugees, promote extremism, terrorism, and instability, with dire consequences for regional and international peace and stability, Stressing the need to support Afghanistan in addressing poverty, creating employment opportunities, and provision of essential services to its citizens, in particular food, clean water, quality education, health services, Acknowledging the efforts of the international community, neighboring countries, donor agencies and other international organizations in urgent provision of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, and that institutions and capacity building developed during decades of international assistance and support to Afghanistan are at the verge of being lost. Rebuilding state institutions and necessary capacity will take decades if urgent actions are not taken to stem the negative trajectory, Recalling international community’s expectations that all Afghans seize this historic opportunity to promote national reconciliation, observe the international conventions and agreements, and adhere to the international governing norms enshrined in the UN Charter and its resolutions, Reaffirming the importance of protecting and respecting the right to life, security, and dignity of the people of Afghanistan in compliance with the Islamic principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Emphasizing the importance of establishing inclusive governmental structures which adopts moderate and sound domestic and foreign policies, with a friendly approach towards neighbors of Afghanistan, aimed at realizing the shared goals of durable peace, security, safety and long-term prosperity of Afghanistan and the region, Emphasizing also the importance of meaningful participation of women in all spheres, and upholding human rights, including for women, children and minorities, Stressing that the menace of terrorism remains a grave threat to the peace, security and stability of Afghanistan, regional countries and the international community, Recognizing that terrorism has devastating consequences on human rights and fundamental freedoms of victims and their families, in particular women and girls, deploring the suffering of the people of Afghanistan, and reaffirming its profound solidarity with them while stressing the importance of providing them with proper support and assistance, Stressing also that the Afghan territory must not be used as a base or safe haven for any terrorist group, Strongly condemning terrorist attacks claimed by the so-called Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), an entity affiliated with Daesh, resulting in the loss of numerous precious lives and injuries to many others, Welcoming the assurances for the safety and security of the diplomatic personnel and humanitarian workers, and international organizations in Afghanistan as well as grant of general amnesty, refraining from reprisals, and to allow safe passage to all those who wish to travel to and from Afghanistan, Commending Pakistan’s pivotal role in the evacuation of over 83,000 people comprising 47 nationalities from Afghanistan, Also commending the important role played by Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and other countries in facilitating evacuations from Afghanistan, Underscoring the importance for the international community, in particular OIC Member States, not to abandon the people of Afghanistan, Welcoming the presence of the representatives of the United Nations Secretary General, China, the U.S., the UK, France, Russian Federation, Japan, Germany, Italy, European Union, Economic Cooperation Organization, League of Arab States, Gulf Cooperation Council; Noting the statement delivered by the Representative of the Afghan authorities; Affirms solidarity of the OIC Member States with the Afghan people in their quest for a peaceful, united, stable, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan; Urges Afghanistan to abide by the principles and purposes enshrined in the UN Charter and the Charter of the OIC and respect its commitments under international agreements and conventions, including its obligations under international human rights covenants, especially with regards to the rights of women, children, youth, elderly and people with special needs as well as the preservation of family values, as enshrined in Islamic teachings and principles; Takes note of the UN system-wide reports that the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is unfolding at a pace and scale hitherto unknown in the recent memory; Encourages the United Nations system in particular UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to pursue joint operation with the OIC for the delivery of urgent humanitarian aid; Welcomes the initiative of Uzbekistan to create under the auspices of the United Nations a regional Logistic Hub in Termez City to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. Calls upon the international community to provide urgent, and sustained humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan as well as to the major Afghan refugee-hosting countries; Urges the international community in general, and the UN Security Council in particular, to ensure that existing targeted sanctions do not impede the provision of humanitarian aid or economic resources to preserve the institutions, schools and hospitals in Afghanistan and to allow multilateral development institutions, United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes and other humanitarian organizations to channel existing assistance and assets towards humanitarian assistance; Affirms the importance of sustained engagement of the international community with Afghanistan, especially in supporting humanitarian and development needs of the Afghan people; Decides that the OIC will play a leading role in the delivery of humanitarian and development aid to the people of Afghanistan; Requests the General Secretariat to take immediate steps to reinforce the OIC Mission in Kabul with human, financial and logistical resources, enabling it to forge global partnerships and streamline aid operations on the ground; Acknowledges that Afghanistan is facing serious liquidity challenges, and resolves to continue focusing on measures to ease access to legitimate banking services; Underscores that Afghanistan’s access to its financial resources would be pivotal in preventing a collapse and in reviving the economic activity and in this regard, recognizes the importance of taking related actions such as unlocking the channels of financial and in-kind flow of assistance and resources to the people of Afghanistan, and exploring realistic pathways towards unfreezing Afghanistan’s financial assets; Decides to establish a Humanitarian Trust Fund, under the aegis of the Islamic Development Bank, to serve as a vehicle to channel humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan including in partnership with other international actors; Decides that the OIC General Secretariat, together with the Islamic Development Bank and Humanitarian Trust Fund, shall commence discussions with the UN system organizations to device a road map for mobilizing actions in relevant fora to unlock the financial and banking channels to resume liquidity and flow of financial and humanitarian assistance, and to devise a mechanism for the disbursement of urgent and sustained humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan; Requests the Islamic Development Bank to expeditiously operationalize the Humanitarian Trust Fund by the first quarter of 2022; Calls on the OIC Member States, the Islamic Financial Institutions, donors and other international partners to announce pledges to the Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan as well as to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan; Decides that OIC General Secretariat shall engage with the World Health Organization and other relevant stakeholders for securing vaccines as well as other medical supplies, technical and related assistance for the people of Afghanistan in context of Covid-19 pandemic and other persistent and emerging health concerns; Decides to launch an Afghanistan Food Security Programme, and requests the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) to undertake necessary work in this regard using the capacity of the Organization’s Food Security Reserves, when necessary; Encourages OIC Member States, international donors, the UN Funds and Programmes and other international actors to generously contribute to the Afghanistan Food Security Programme. Reiterates its call on the OIC Secretary-General to engage with donor financial institutions to provide necessary humanitarian and economic assistance to Afghanistan as well as Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries; Urgently appeals to OIC member States, international community including the UN system, international organizations, and international financial institutions to continue to provide all possible and necessary recovery, reconstruction, development, financial, educational, technical and material assistance for Afghanistan as policy tools to promote realization and enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms by all Afghan citizens; Reaffirms the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan and ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan is not used as a platform or safe haven by any terrorist group or organization; Calls upon Afghanistan to take concrete steps against all terrorist organizations in particular Al-Qaeda, Deash and its affiliates, ETIM, and TTP; Reaffirms that peace, security and stability in Afghanistan would also contribute to the safe and dignified return of all Afghan refugees, and internally displaced persons and to play their constructive role in the development of Afghanistan; Urges the international community to remain cautious against the possibility of incitement and the role of spoilers, both inside and outside the country, to derail efforts aimed at peace and stability in Afghanistan; Calls upon the Afghan authorities to continue to work towards greater inclusiveness and including by developing a roadmap to strengthen participation of all Afghans including women and girls to participate in all aspects of the Afghan society; Underscores the need for concerted efforts to rebuild the necessary capacity of the relevant state institutions of Afghanistan to address challenges posed by terrorism, narcotics, smuggling, money laundering, organized crime, and irregular migration; Decides to appoint Ambassador Tarig Ali Bakheet, Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian, Cultural and Family Affairs at the OIC General Secretariat, as Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for Afghanistan, supported by a secretariat and the OIC Office in Afghanistan to coordinate aid and assistance efforts, and mandated to pursue economic and political engagement with Afghanistan, and to submit periodic reports; Requests the OIC Secretary General to arrange for a delegation of prominent religious scholars and Ulama led by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy and other relevant religious institutions, to engage with Afghanistan on issues of vital concern, such as, but not limited to, tolerance and moderation in Islam, equal access to education and women’s rights in Islam; Requests the OIC Secretary General to present a report in coordination with the Islamic Development Bank and the Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the Organization Islamic Cooperation for Afghanistan to the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers regarding measures taken to implement this resolution, and the steps taken and resources required to strengthen OIC Mission in Afghanistan; Also requests the OIC Secretary General to present a report to the 48th session which identifies measures to address the humanitarian and economic situation in Afghanistan as well as to highlight any practical difficulties being faced in the provision of humanitarian aid or related funds, financial assets, or economic resources to Afghanistan by the OIC Member States, OIC financial and humanitarian institutions and organizations.

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