Long standing Kashmir, Palestine issues; still a stark reminder of UN’s unfinished agenda: FM

Long standing Kashmir, Palestine issues; still a stark reminder of UN’s unfinished agenda: FM

ISLAMABAD, Dec 10 (APP): Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday said that the issues of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and Palestine had been the unfinished agenda of the United Nations and stressed upon the international community to work together to resolve them peacefully in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

Addressing a joint presser with Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hissein Brahim Taha, the foreign minister said that they were grateful to him for undertaking his first bilateral visit to Pakistan.

He expressed the hope that OIC secretary general’s visit to Azad Kashmir would send a message to the entire world that the entire Ummah stood united with the people of IIOJK.

“It will be a stark reminder to the UN and the international community about the long-standing unfinished agenda’ which required global community’s collective efforts for peaceful resolution, he added.

About his meeting with the OIC secretary general, the foreign minister said that they had fruitful exchange of views on different issues confronting the Muslim Ummah.

He said Pakistan attached high priority to the OIC as it had been a collective voice of 57 Muslim countries, the second largest world’s multilateral forum, adding Pakistan firmly supported and deeply appreciated OIC’s role for ensuring social, political and economic interests of the Muslim ummah.

During his meeting, the foreign minister said that he had highlighted the human rights violations committed by India in the IIOJK, and requested the OIC to continue playing its effective role over revoking of Indian illegal and unilateral steps on IIOJK and resolution of IIOJK issue in accordance with the UNSC and OIC resolutions.

He said that during Council of Foreign Ministers (CFMs) meeting, the OIC member states had unanimously condemned the Indian actions and stressed for taking of steps in line with the UNSC resolutions and in accordance with the people of Kashmir to resolve the issue peacefully.

The foreign minister said that Islamophobia was the other issue of concern which had been on the rise across the world and Pakistan had encouraged designation of the OIC special envoy to address it.

About Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Bilawal said that they had discussed the issues of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, and the outcome of the important decisions taken during the OIC foreign ministers’ meeting like setting up an Afghan humanitarian fund and functioning of special envoy and the OIC mission.

Expressing his satisfaction, the foreign minister said a new OIC mission office had been opened in Kabul and appreciated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s donations for the Afghan fund.

He said the people of Afghanistan had been facing dire humanitarian crises and looking towards the OIC and expressed that Pakistan was hopeful under the OIC SG, those steps would have positive impacts upon the humanitarian scenario in Afghanistan.

Reiterating Pakistan’s stance over Palestine issue, Bilawal said “Pakistan stands shoulders to shoulders with the Palestinian brothers and sisters” and fully supported the OIC and global community’s efforts to resolve the issue.

The foreign minister further informed that Pakistan would be convening OIC trade fair in Lahore next year.

Addressing the press conference, Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha said that for more than four decades, the OIC had been helping and supporting the efforts of Pakistan for the peaceful resolution of the IIOJK issue.

During the 48th session of Council of FMs, the OIC had condemned and rejected the illegal and unilateral steps of India over Jammu and Kashmir, adding the organization had urged India to revoke its decisions.

The secretary general reiterated support to the right of self- determination of the Kashmiri people in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

He expressed the optimism that Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine had been the long-standing issues which would be resolved one day.

To a question, he said that they had been in contact with the Afghan authorities and working with them with over different issues.

Hissein Brahim Taha further said that the OIC shared the concerns of the global community, and they were working with the Afghan interim government to find out solution to the education of the young female students.

For this purpose, OIC mission had started working in a new building in Kabul and engaging with them.

The foreign minister responding to a question, said that the OIC was a united platform for the entire Muslim Ummah and Pakistan had been consistently stressing upon the international community to engage with the Afghan interim government.

He said Pakistan besides, seeking international community’s continuous engagement, also sought unfreezing of Afghan assets.

He said a humanitarian crisis was unfolding in Afghanistan as ’97 per cent of its population is living below the poverty line’.

Bilawal urged the international community to transform their commitment with the people of Afghanistan into tangible steps and continue engagement with the interim government over the issues of female education, women empowerment and terrorism.