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April 1, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 9857

At Organization Of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers Meeting In Islamabad, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Urges OIC To Create 'An Islamic Block,' OIC Resolution Calls For Self-Determination Of Kashmir And Palestine

April 1, 2022
Special Dispatch No. 9857

Speaking at the 48th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for creating "an Islamic block" in the international state system to protect the interests of Muslim countries.[1] The conference of OIC foreign ministers was held on the theme of "Partnering for Unity, Justice, And Development" on March 22-23, 2022, in the Pakistani capital and was attended, among others, by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

"We have failed both the Palestinians and the people of Kashmir. I am sad to say that we have been able to make no impact at all," Khan said, adding: "We (Muslims) are 1.5 billion people and yet our voice to stop this blatant injustice is insignificant."[2]


The OIC foreign ministers conference was held on March 22-23, 2022

Speaking on the inaugural day of the conference, Imran Khan noted that the Western countries do "not take the OIC seriously" and added: "The only hope I have is that for the first time because of social media, there is awareness in Western countries. Much more than the OIC, it is the mobile phone and the spread of information of the injustices being done to the Palestinians... at the moment, that is the best way to protect them, not us."[3]

Imran Khan is known for his views in favor of Islamist and jihadi organizations, declaring in recent years: "War in Afghanistan is jihad"; "Over 80% of the Pakistanis think that the U.S. is an enemy; Why...? Because they think that the U.S. is not fighting a war against terror; It's a war against Islam"; "The Jewish lobby... controls the global media"; "There is a very big lobby in America... that's basically the Israeli lobby; It wants the Pakistani nuclear program rolled back"; "When I wage a war for my freedom, it is jihad; It's a verse of the Koran; It's straight clear"; "It is shameful that we call ourselves Muslims and fear shari'a."[4][5]

The Pakistani prime minister congratulated the Muslim world for the UN General Assembly's declaration of March 15 asan  International Day to Combat Islamophobia, a topic dear to him. Khan said it was unfortunate that the Muslim world was not able to combat this image of Muslims. However, the two-day conference's main focus was on Kashmir and Palestine.


Imran Khan addresses the OIC foreign ministers conference

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi too raised the two issues, stating: "The Muslim world is faced with conflicts in the Middle East, prolonged foreign occupation, and the denial of the right to self-determination, most notably to the people of Palestine and Kashmir."[6] These two themes are also articulated in the resolution adopted by the OIC foreign ministers' conference.

Following are excerpts from the resolution:

"We Re-Emphasize The Centrality Of The Question Of Palestine And Al-Quds Al-Sharif [Jerusalem] For The Muslim Ummah"

"We re-emphasize the centrality of the question of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif [Jerusalem] for the Muslim Ummah, reaffirming its principled and continued all-level support to the Palestinian people to regain their inalienable legitimate national rights, including their right to self-determination and the independence of the State of Palestine along the 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. We also reaffirm our duty to protect the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 194 and to unequivocally counter any denial of these rights.

"We reaffirm that Al-Quds Al-Sharif is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian Territory of the State of Palestine and call on the international community to compel Israel, the occupying power, to desist from its colonial practices and abide by all international resolutions on the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and to refrain from all measures, practices and decisions aimed at altering the character and legal status of the Holy City, including through intensification of Jewish colonial settlements therein and forcible expulsion of its Arab Palestinian inhabitants; and to desist from the desecration of Islamic Shrines, including aggression against Al-Quds Al-Sharif and call for mobilization of all efforts to confront Israeli colonial occupation and hostile takeover of the Holy City and to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people as well as reiterate that maintaining Jerusalem's legal status as the Capital of the State of Palestine is the only guarantee to achieving peace and security for the region.

"We decide to take further effective measures to remove obstacles to the realization of the Palestinian people to self-determination, through ensuring protection and bringing an end to Israelis' illegal colonial occupation and apartheid regime, and for achieving a just solution. In this regard, we decide to seek accountability measures against the occupying power, and to lend full support to and cooperation in all actions that seek accountability and are aimed at bringing an end to this colonial occupation and its apartheid regime, including at the ICJ [International Court of Justice]."

"We Renew Unwavering Solidarity With The People Of Jammu And Kashmir And Express Full Support For Their Inalienable Right To Self-Determination"

"We renew unwavering solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and express full support for their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the OIC, and the wishes of the Kashmiri people. We condemn massive violations of their human rights in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

"We reiterate rejection of India's illegal and unilateral actions since August 5, 2019, aimed at altering the demographic composition of the occupied territory, suppressing the realization of the inalienable right of self-determination of the Kashmiris, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and international law including the 4th Geneva Convention.

"We declare that the final settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions is indispensable for durable peace in South Asia. We reiterate our call on India to: a) reverse its unilateral and illegal measures instituted since 5th August 2019; b) cease its oppression and human rights violations against the Kashmiris in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir; c) halt and reverse attempts to alter the demographic structure and to redraw electoral constituencies in IIOJK; and d) take concrete and meaningful steps for full implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.

"We express grave concern over the violation of Pakistan's airspace, threat to passenger aircraft, and dangers to peace and security in South Asia arising from the launch of supersonic missile on 9 March 2022 by India.[7] We call on India to fully abide by international law and norms of responsible State behavior and conduct a joint probe with Pakistan to accurately establish facts..."

"We Underline The Importance Of Full Respect For The Human Rights Of All Afghans, Including Women, Children, And Persons Belonging To Ethnic, Religious, And Cultural Minorities"

"We underscore strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan. We affirm our abiding solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and express the confidence that the resilient Afghan people will continue to steer their country on the path to progress and prosperity.

"We recognize that sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan can only be assured through formation of a comprehensive, broad-based and inclusive government with the participation of all Afghan ethnicities. We underline the importance of full respect for the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and persons belonging to ethnic, religious, and cultural minorities...


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also addressed the OIC meet

"We underline that Afghanistan's early access to its financial resources is critical in preventing an economic meltdown and exacerbation of the humanitarian situation; and call for the return of the frozen national assets of Afghanistan to its people to whom they rightfully belong.

"We reaffirm the importance of ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan is not used as a platform or safe haven by any terrorist group, in particular Al-Qaeda, Daesh [ISIS] and its affiliates, ETIM [The East Turkestan Islamic Movement], and TTP [Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan]; and urge 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 ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan..."

"We Denounce The Systematic And Widespread Policy Of Discrimination And Intolerance Against Muslims In India, Which Has Led To Their Political, Economic, And Social Marginalization"

"We express deep concern over the rising trend of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred and strongly condemn all attempts to denigrate the sanctity of the Holy Prophet... [Muhammad] and Islamic symbols, to inflame sentiments of Muslims across the world, and to foment inter-cultural divisions and tensions.

"We call upon the international community to prevent incitement to hatred and discrimination against Muslims and take effective measures to combat defamation of religions and acts of negative stereotyping and stigmatization of people based on religion, belief or ethnicity. We renew commitment to promote and uphold the rights of Muslim communities and minorities in non-OIC Member States. We extend our continued support to the OIC's role, efforts, initiatives and good offices to this end.

"We denounce the systematic and widespread policy of discrimination and intolerance against Muslims in India, which has led to their political, economic, and social marginalization. We are deeply alarmed by the most pernicious attacks on the Muslim identity in India as manifest in the discriminatory laws and policies targeting the Hijab [which was banned by some colleges in the southern Indian state of Karnataka]. We call upon India to immediately revoke such discriminatory laws, ensure the rights of the Indian Muslims and protect their religious freedoms.

"We welcome adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution proclaiming 15 March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. We call on OIC Member States, and the international community to raise awareness at all levels in countering Islamophobia, building a better understanding of Islam and its precepts, and fostering a message of tolerance, peaceful co-existence, and inter-faith and cultural harmony among all religions, races and nations..."

 

[1] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), March 23, 2022.

[2] Dawn.com (Pakistan), March 22, 2022.

[3] Dawn.com (Pakistan), March 22, 2022.

[6] Dawn.com (Pakistan), March 22, 2022.

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