Only stable Afghan govt can fight terrorism, says PM Imran

Addressing OIC FMs Council, Imran says chaos in Afghanistan doesn't suit anyone especially US: Calls for immediate action, urging world not to link their support to Taliban

By: News Desk
Published: 09:33 AM, 19 Dec, 2021
Only stable Afghan govt can fight terrorism, says PM Imran
Caption: TV grab.
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Prime Minister Imran Khan has declared that only a stable Afghan government can challenge terrorism but the situation on the ground was so grave that it could lead to chaos in that country, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Addressing the extraordinary session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) in Islamabad which began here on Sunday, the Prime Minister said “Believe me, chaos in Afghanistan would not suit any country especially the United States.”

Imran Khan emphasized that immediate action was needed to salvage Afghanistan from falling into chaos.

He made it clear that Pakistan could not deal with another influx of refugees if Afghanistan collapses into chaos keeping the grave humanitarian situation, the issue of terrorism and obviously the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

Collapsing hospitals, education sector

Imran Khan also highlighted the collapsing hospitals, education sector and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and called for the world to take immediate action as Afghanistan was heading towards chaos. “Unless action is taken immediately, Afghanistan is heading for chaos. Any government 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 said.

Imran said owing to a dearth of resources if the Afghan government remained unable to counter-terrorism other countries may also face its spillover impact.

ISIL presence

Mentioning the presence of ISIL 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, he added.

He said Pakistan had also the same worry having faced the biggest collateral damage of the Afghan war with the loss of 80,000 people and the shattered economy, and displacement of 3.5 million people.

Warning of ‘man-made disaster’

The prime minister welcomed the delegates in Pakistan and said ironically, Pakistan had hosted 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 the years of corrupt government, suspension of foreign aid, freezing of foreign assets and dysfunctional banking system which could lead to the collapse of any state.

He said if the world failed to act timely, it would lead to the “biggest man-made disaster.”

The prime minister said the OIC had a huge responsibility as it was our religious duty too to support the suffering Afghan brethren, urging the world not to link their support with the Taliban rather they must think of 40 million people.

Imran, however, said that the Taliban would also have to understand that formation of an inclusive government, respect for human rights particularly of women, and disallowing the use of Afghan soil for terrorism in other countries would pave way for international aid to Afghanistan.

He also mentioned his meeting with the interim Afghan foreign minister in which he had categorically assured to comply all the aforesaid conditions. He however asked the international community to be sensitive to the cultural traditions in Afghanistan as well as adjoining areas in Pakistan particularly considering the girls’ education.

He said in case of violation of their traditions, the families would never send their girls to schools even if incentivized but they would willingly do it without any stipend if felt satisfied.

Another refugee exodus risk

Imran Khan said any chaos in Afghanistan would lead to the mass exodus of refugees which would be unaffordable for Pakistan rather than no developing country. He said the developed countries had a problem even with few thousand refugees, so how a developing country like Pakistan could host hundreds of thousands of them.

He appreciated the Islamic Development Bank’s proposal for an immediate and long-term support mechanism for Afghanistan and hoped the moot would come up with a proper roadmap to deal with the situation.

He also called for OIC’s unified response on the issues of Kashmir and Palestine where people were struggling for their democratic rights also guaranteed by the United Nations.


Commenting on Islamophobia, Imran Khan said the refugee crisis had exacerbated the phenomenon when terrorism and Islam were connected by the west making the western Muslims suffer. The prime minister said the absence of any intellectual response to such a situation also led to the situation as the west’s attitude towards religion was different.

He said Pakistan had formed a Rahmatullil Alamin Authority to coordinate with world Muslim scholars to consider the intellectual response to the subjects like cartoons or insulting the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) to make the West understand as how Muslims revered him.

Moreover, the Authority would also raise the morality and ethics of society by teachings Seeratun Nabi (PBUH) to the people besides bringing unity in the society, he added.

Collective helping hand

Earlier, Pakistan called on the Muslim Ummah to stand with the people of Afghanistan and extend a collective helping hand as the situation is getting desperate there. This was stated by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while addressing the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which started in Islamabad on Sunday at the National Assembly Hall with total 57 Islamic envoys including 20 FMs and 10 deputy FMs in attendance.

Convened by Saudi Arabia as OIC chair and being hosted by Pakistan, the delegates participating in the historic session will discuss the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The session started with the recitation of the Holy Quran verses and was chaired by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will deliver the keynote address at the inaugural session.

Following the recitation of the Holy Quran, Shah Mehmood Qureshi formally declared the extraordinary session "open". He was the first to address the summit.

"Let me start by commending Saudi Arabia for their leadership in convening this session," Qureshi said. "I want to welcome OIC Secretary-General Taha as this is first the foreign ministerial meeting after his appointment."

"Pakistan is also gratified by the trust reposed in us by the OIC. Your presence here on a short notice affirms the importance the world and OIC holds for the people of Afghanistan. The significance of this gathering goes beyond mere symbolism. It is a matter of survival for them."

The foreign minister detailed the plight of people in Afghanistan, saying: "Over half of their population — 22.8 million people — face food shortage. Millions of Afghan children are at risk of dying from malnutrition. This situation has been brought about by a multiplicity of factors such as years of conflict, poor governance and excessive dependence on foreign aid."

"August 2021 may have altered the political landscape in Afghanistan, but the needs of the people are the same."

Qureshi said that as per the UN, the Afghanistan situation "could become the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world", adding that those with "direct knowledge" have been giving "dire warnings" in this regard.

"It is unfortunate that the hardship and suffering of the Afghans has not eased," he said as he urged the Islamic world to stand with the people of Afghanistan just as it backed the right of "self-determination of the Palestinians and the Kashmiris".

"This is the moment to extend a collective helping hand. This is not the time to withhold support," he added.

"This organisation (OIC) has consistently supported the rights of the people and called on the rest of the world to think beyond their economic and domestic compulsions."

The meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is the biggest major conference on Afghanistan since the US-backed government fell in August. After the Taliban's lightning return to power, billions of dollars in aid and assets were frozen by the international community, and the nation of 38 million now faces a bitter winter.

The United Nations has repeatedly warned that Afghanistan is on the brink of the world's worst humanitarian emergency with a combined food, fuel and cash crisis.

On Sunday Pakistan's capital was on lockdown, ring-fenced with barbed wire barriers and shipping-container roadblocks where police and soldiers stood guard.

Any aid pledges were set to be announced Sunday evening.

Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi is among the delegates, alongside others from the United States, China, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

No nations have yet formally recognised the Taliban government and diplomats face the delicate task of channelling aid to the stricken Afghan economy without also propping up the hardline Islamists.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the meeting would speak "for the people of Afghanistan" rather than "a particular group".

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were the only three countries to recognise the previous Taliban government of 1996 to 2001.

Qureshi said there was a difference between "recognition and engagement" with the new order in Kabul. "Let us nudge them through persuasion, through incentives, to move in the right direction," he told reporters ahead of the OIC meeting.

"A policy of coercion and intimidation did not work. If it had worked, we wouldn't have been in this situation."