Monday Dec 20, 2021
Introducing a resolution for the restoration of Afghanistan's banking system is a resounding success, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Monday.
In a statement commenting on the 17th extraordinary session of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers held a day earlier, Qureshi said that the problem is not the Taliban government, but the 38 million Afghans facing hunger and famine.
Afghanistan urgently needs medicine and food, he said, adding that America should reconsider its Afghanistan policy in the interests of the Afghan people.
He noted that having 20 Foreign Ministers and 10 Deputy Foreign Ministers attend the meeting was a great achievement for Pakistan.
He thanked the Foreign Office's agencies and personnel, stating that the arrival of representatives from so many countries in Pakistan is a major development.
"I wish to express my gratitude to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Senate Chairman, and the Pakistan Armed Forces.
The Foreign Office staff worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the conference," he observed.
Additionally, Qureshi expressed gratitude to Pakistan and the international media for covering this [OIC Summit] historic meeting.
"May Allah Almighty keep Pakistan at the forefront of the world for all time and under Prime Minister Imran Khan's leadership," he stated.
In the OIC meeting, Qureshi warned that the escalating crisis could result in widespread hunger, a flood of refugees, and an increase in extremism.
"We cannot ignore the danger of complete economic meltdown," he told the gathering, which also included Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi alongside delegates from the United States, China, Russia, the European Union and UN.
Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that the international community needed to distinguish the Taliban from ordinary Afghans.
"I speak specifically to the United States," he said, "that they must disentangle the Afghan government from the 40 million Afghan citizens, even if they have been at odds with the Taliban for two decades."
On Sunday, the Foreign ministers from Muslim countries at the OIC summit agreed to collaborate with the United Nations to attempt to unlock hundreds of millions of dollars in frozen Afghan assets in order to address a growing humanitarian crisis.
The delegates pledged to work "to reopen financial and banking channels in order to reintroduce liquidity and the flow of financial and humanitarian assistance."
The meeting was the largest on Afghanistan since August, when the US-backed government fell and the Taliban reclaimed power.
Since then, the international community has frozen billions of dollars in aid and assets, and the country is in the midst of a bitter winter.
Following the meeting, an OIC resolution stated that the Islamic Development Bank would spearhead efforts to free up assistance by the first quarter of next year.