Sunday, December 19, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Underscoring the need for humanitarian aid to Kabul, Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday warned that if the world failed to act in a timely manner, Afghanistan could potentially become the “biggest man-made disaster.”
PM Imran Khan made these remarks during his keynote address at the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) being held in Islamabad today.
Highlighting the collapsing hospitals, education sector, and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the prime minister called for the world to take immediate action as Afghanistan was heading towards chaos.
“Unless action is taken immediately, Afghanistan is heading for chaos. When it cannot pay salaries to public servants, doctors and nurses, any government is going to collapse. But chaos suits no one. It certainly does not suit the United States,” he added.
The prime minister said that owing to a dearth of resources, if the Afghan government remained unable to counter terrorism, other countries may also face its spillover impact.
Mentioning the presence of Daesh in Afghanistan, and terror attacks inside Pakistan by it from across the Afghan border, the prime minister said the only way to handle the terror outfit was a stable Afghanistan. He said ISIL was capable of carrying out international attacks.
The prime minister said Pakistan also had the same worry, having faced the biggest collateral damage of the Afghan war with the loss of 80,000 people and a shattered economy, and displacement of 3.5 million people.
The prime minister welcomed the delegates in Pakistan and said ironically, Pakistan had hosted the OIC moot on Afghanistan 41 years ago as no country suffered from conflicts as much as Afghanistan.
He said the situation in Afghanistan was also caused by years of a corrupt government, suspension of foreign aid, freezing of foreign assets and a dysfunctional banking system which could lead to the collapse of any state.
The prime minister said the OIC had a huge responsibility as it was our religious duty, too, to support the suffering Afghan brethren.
The prime minister urged the world not to link their support with the Taliban, but rather that they must think of 40 million people.
However, he also said that the Taliban would also have to understand that formation of an inclusive government, respect for human rights, particularly women, and disallowing the use of Afghan soil for terrorism in other countries would pave the way for international aid to Afghanistan.
The prime minister, however, asked the international community to be sensitive to the cultural traditions of Afghanistan as well as adjoining areas in Pakistan, particularly considering girls’ education.
He said in case of violation of their traditions, the families would never send their girls to school even if incentivised, but they would willingly do it without any stipend if they felt satisfied.
The prime minister said any chaos in Afghanistan would lead to the mass exodus of refugees which would be unaffordable for Pakistan.
He said developed countries had a problem even with a few thousand refugees, so how could a developing country like Pakistan host hundreds of thousands of them.
He also called for OIC’s unified response on the issues of Kashmir and Palestine, where people were struggling for their democratic rights guaranteed by the United Nations.