Pakistan offers to host OIC summit on Afghanistan in December

Pakistan offers to host OIC summit on Afghanistan in December

Pakistan has offered to host a summit of foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) next month to address the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

The Pakistan offer comes after a request from Saudi Arabia, which currently chairs the 57-member group.
In a video message, FM Qureshi said that Pakistan fully endorses this initiative of the Kingdom.

“Pakistan also offers to host this meeting in Islamabad on the 17th of next month,” he said and added, “We [Pakistan] are confident that the OIC member states will endorse this offer.”

The United Nations has repeatedly warned that Afghanistan is on the brink of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and Qureshi said the OIC “must step in to help our Afghan brethren”.

“We should step up our collective efforts to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people,” he said in the video statement.

FM Qureshi reiterated that Afghanistan was facing a serious humanitarian situation as millions of Afghans, including women, and children were confronted with an uncertain future due to a shortage of food, medicine and other essential living supplies.

“The advent of winter has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis,” he feared.

The minister also urged the OIC to step up to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, provide immediate and sustained support to them, and continue to remain engaged with them for the wellbeing and prosperity of Afghanistan.

The OIC summit in December will likely be the biggest international gathering on Afghanistan since the Taliban’s return.

After the Taliban seized power on the heels of a US withdrawal in August, more than half of the country is facing “acute” food shortages.

The prospect of a long hard winter is raising the spectre of mass starvation and migration.

The international community has been wary of funding aid efforts through the new Taliban government, considered a pariah owing to its links to terrorism.