Bilawal warns of potential mass exodus from Afghanistan in winter

Tells US representative need for continuing international engagement with Taliban govt: Reaffirms commitment to further deepen strategic cooperation with China: Urges OIC to approach UN chief to appoint special envoy on Islamophobia

By: News Desk
Published: 10:04 AM, 20 Sep, 2022
Bilawal warns of potential mass exodus from Afghanistan in winter
Caption: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto holds meeting with his Norwegian counterpart Anniken Huitfeldt in New York.
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Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has warned of potential mass exodus from Afghanistan in the coming winter which could be exploited by the terrorists and extremists, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Tuesday.

In a string of meetings with world leaders including US Special Representative for Afghanistan in New York, Bilawal cited warnings issued by the United Nations and other world agencies that the situation may take an ugly turn in Afghanistan in winter.

He said such a scenario may trigger adverse effects at regional as well as at international level. He stressed that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is a priority for Pakistan.

Talking to the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West, Bilawal emphasized the significance of continuing international engagement with the interim Afghan government for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and beyond.

The US Special Representative appreciated Pakistan's efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan and in facilitation of evacuations.

The two sides acknowledged the need for continued cooperation on the shared objectives of sustained efforts and engagement of the international community to alleviate sufferings of the Afghan people and promote regional peace and stability.

Pakistan, China reaffirm their commitment to further deepen strategic cooperation

Bilawal Bhutto also met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 

Both had a comprehensive exchange of views on the entire spectrum of bilateral partnership and multilateral cooperation, including at the United Nations.

The Foreign Minister conveyed profound gratitude to the Chinese leadership, government and people for China’s prompt support and robust assistance to Pakistan in the wake of catastrophic floods.  

Recalling the summit meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Xi Jinping in Samarkand on Thursday, the two Foreign Ministers reaffirmed full commitment to further deepening of strategic cooperation, extending strong support for each other’s core interests and major concerns. They also expressed resolve to enhance economic engagement, accelerate high-quality development of CPEC, and strengthen bilateral security cooperation.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto highlighted Pakistan’s close convergence with China on multilateral issues premised on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, multilateralism, free trade, and development.

Pakistan, Norway agree to further diversify cooperation

Pakistan and Norway have agreed to continue joint efforts to further strengthen and diversify cooperation particularly in trade, investment, development and other areas.

The understanding came at a meeting between Bilawal Bhutto and Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt in New York.

They underlined the importance of early conclusion of Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and European Free Trade Association.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari hoped that more Norwegian companies would benefit from Pakistan's attractive investment policy.

He underlined the importance of enhancing legal migration opportunities for Pakistanis.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also underscored the need for peaceful resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions.

FM urges OIC to approach UN Chief to appoint special envoy on Islamophobia

Bilawal Bhutto has urged the OIC to approach the UN secretary-general to appoint a special envoy on Islamophobia as it has reached an alarming level worldwide.

The foreign minister was addressing a meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Muslims in Europe which held on the sidelines of UN General Assembly's 77th session in New York.

He said Islamophobia continues to find strong resonance in political spheres in Europe, ultimately leading to the institutionalization of Islamophobia through new legislations and policies such as discriminatory travel bans and visa restrictions. He said the momentum generated by this resolution should be maintained.

The Foreign Minister said one of the worst manifestations of such Islamophobia is in Hindutva-inspired India, driven by the ideology of hate against Muslims, the (ruling) BJP-RSS regime is executing its century-old plan to obliterate India’s Islamic legacy and to transform India into an exclusive Hindu State.

He said the gender aspect of Islamophobia is also gaining prominence, with Muslim girls and women being targeted due to mode of their dress and the general notion that Muslim women are oppressed and thus must be liberated.

The Foreign Minister proposed the following:

1- OIC needs to further strengthen the OIC observatory to monitor all such incidents of discrimination and hate crimes in Europe and other parts of the world.

2- OIC should call on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe to establish an observatory to monitor acts of religious hatred, hostility and violence against Muslims and report regularly to the relevant policy organisations.

3- OIC should urge the UN Secretary-General to appoint a Special Envoy or at least a focal person on Islamophobia.

4- The OIC member states, within the framework of their bilateral relations with European countries, should raise the challenges facing Muslims and make specific efforts to help in addressing those challenges.