ISLAMABAD, Pakistan : Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday called upon the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and China to “step in” and “mediate” between Russia and Ukraine to stop the ongoing war.
“We are all worried about what’s going on there. May I suggest that during their discussions, the foreign ministers, we should think about how we can mediate? How we can bring about a cease-fire, and put an end to the conflict,” Khan said, while addressing the 48th session of the OIC Foreign Ministers’ Conference in the capital Islamabad.
“I’m going to meet His Excellency Wang Yi (Chinese Foreign Minister) after this (summit) and I want to discuss how they (OIC) along with China can all step in and try to stop this (war),” Khan went on to say.
“This conflict which is going to have — if it keeps going the way it is — it will have great consequences for the rest of the world … We already suffering. Oil prices have gone up. Gas prices have shot up, wheat prices have gone up because of this war,” he further said, warning that if the war continues “this is only going to get worse.”
“So, therefore … all the countries which are non-partisan … we are in a special position to be able to influence this conflict,” he added.
Voicing concern over the growing phenomenon of Islamophobia and attacks on Muslims, the premier lamented that the Muslim world has failed to counter this “wrong narrative.”
“Where did this Islamophobia grow and was allowed to keep growing after 9/11? What happened after 9/11? Unfortunately, this narrative of Islamic terrorism, Islamic radicalization, radicalism. This narrative went on unchecked,” he said.
“I’m sorry to say that we the Muslim countries did not do anything to check this wrong narrative. How can any religion have anything to do with terrorism? How was Islam equated to terrorism?” he said.
“Unfortunately, what should have been done — and (it) wasn’t (done) — was (that) the heads of Muslim countries should have taken a stand on this. But instead, a lot of heads of state kept saying things like ‘well, we are moderate’,” he went on to say.
And guess who suffered? Muslims living in Western countries. They kept suffering because any incident would happen. Any terrorist incident by a Muslim immediately meant that every Muslim became branded,” he said.
Palestine and Kashmir
Khan contended that the Muslim world has failed the people of Palestine and Kashmir.
“We are not talking about conquering some country, we (are) simply talking about the human rights of Palestinians and Kashmiris,” he said.
“I’m sad to say that we have been able to make no impact at all. They don’t take us seriously. We are a divided house. And those powers know it we are 1.5 billion people. And yet a voice to stop this blatant injustice is insignificant,” he said.
Condemning arch-rival India for scrapping the decades-long semi-autonomous status of the Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, Khan said: “The international community promised them the right to decide their own destiny through a plebiscite. That right was never given to them. In fact, this special status of Kashmir was taken away illegally by India on Aug. 5, 2019.”
“It’s a war crime, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention to change the demography of unoccupied land. India is changing the demography of Kashmir by making the Muslims from a majority to a minority by bringing in settlers from outside,” he said.
Without altering their respective foreign policies, he suggested, the OIC member states should have a common stand on core issues confronting the Muslim world.
“I am not talking about altering or foreign policies all of us (countries) have a different foreign policy. But on core issues, unless we have a united front, we will let these abuses happen.
“Like in Palestine, I mean it’s daylight robbery going on in Palestine.”
Khan urged the OIC and the international community to jointly work to “stabilize” Afghanistan.
“No nation has suffered as the people of Afghanistan have by 40 years of conflict,” he said, calling for the withdrawal of sanctions on the Taliban government.
This, he opined, is the only way to stop “international terrorism” from Afghan soil.– AA