Will OIC live up to Pakistan's expectations?
The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) is regarded as the only platform where the entire Muslim world is represented and it is the forum where the issue confronting the Ummah could be discussed in an attempt to find a workable, viable, and acceptable solution.
However, in the recent past questions are being raised as to the affectability of this otherwise huge forum in generating brotherhood, peace, and harmony among the member states. The long-pending issues including Palestine and Kashmir remained unresolved.
Pakistan, since its inception, has always been an active member of the OIC working for all Islamic causes. As a result of Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts, a Contact Group on Kashmir was established to initiate some pressure on India to grant the Kashmiri Muslims their right to self-determination as was envisaged by the United Nations Security Council.
Pakistan was embarrassed when the OIC Secretariat invited the then Indian Foreign Minister Shushma Swaraj to attend the foreign ministers' conference in Riyadh. Pakistan was left with no option but to boycott the proceedings of the conference at the 11th hour.
Pakistan would once again be the host of the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the 57-nations Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to be held in the capital city of Islamabad on December 19, 2021 (Sunday). The delegations would start arriving from Dec 18 (Saturday), which has since been declared a closed holiday for schools, colleges, and universities.
The main focus of the forthcoming foreign ministers’ moot is to take stock of events in changing Afghanistan's situation following the installation of the Taliban Government in Kabul including the emerging humanitarian and economic crisis in the war-torn Muslim state.
The situation in Afghanistan has changed and India has no role anymore in Afghan affairs and following the Taliban takeover in Kabul, India has practically been shown the door. A large number of Indian diplomatic staff and military officials were forced to pack up and leave the country which at one stage was the hub of activities against Pakistan in connivance with Afghan security agency DNS, Indian RAW and Israeli Mussad. The main venue was the Spin Bouldak area near the Pak-Afghan border near Chaman.
Pakistan would expect the OIC to realize Pakistan's role in establishing peace and harmony in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, security arrangements are being given final touches and elaborate lodging measures are being made. A traffic plan is also being chalked out to bring the delegates from the airport to the respective places of their stay and from their residences to the venue of the meeting. Alternate routes would be identified to divert the traffic from the main route of the conference venue.
Pakistan has vast experience of hosting such mega-events starting with the hosting of the Second OIC Islamic Summit Conference in Lahore from February 22-24, 1974. This event brought the then top leadership of the Muslim world including Saudi King Shah Faisal, Iranian Shahansha Raeza shah Pahlavi, Libyan President Moamar Qaddafi, leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat, Syrian President Hafiz al Asad, Egyptian President Anwar Sadaat, and Bangladeshi President Sheikh Mujirbur Rehman. President of UAE Zaid bin sultan al-Nahyan besides many other leaders from the Muslim world.
Earlier, the 34th session of the Islamic conference of foreign ministers titled ‘session of peace, progress, and harmony’ was held in Islamabad from 15-17 May 2007. The 21st conference of the foreign ministers on the subject of Organic, statutory, and general matters was held in Karachi from April 25-29, 1993. The 11th Islamic Conference of foreign ministers was held in Islamabad from May 17-22, 1980
Similarly, the second Islamic Conference of foreign ministers was held in Karachi in December 1970.
Extraordinary Conferences were also hosted by Pakistan including the 1st in Islamabad from January 27-29, 1980, and the second in Islamabad on September 7-9 1994.