In OIC meeting, Imran Khan urges the world to help Afghans
ISLAMABAD, December 19 – Imran Khan, in the 17th Extraordinary OIC meeting Prime Minister of Pakistan, has urged the United States to avoid setting preconditions on much-needed humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. Pakistan has long maintained that humanitarian assistance should not be tied to prerequisites because it is “a matter of Afghan people – 40 million human beings.”
“I speak specifically to the United States, they must delink the Taliban government from the 40 million Afghan citizens even if they have been in conflict with the Taliban for 20 years”, Khan added.
He warned that “the Afghan winter everyone knows is extremely severe, we’re are already late.”
Speaking about the issues that have arisen as a result of the frozen reserves, he stated that the chaos in Afghanistan is in no one’s best interests and can lead to more refugees and “international terrorism.”
“I know the Europeans are extremely sensitive, they understand the situation. There’s a refugee problem not just in Europe but all over the world,” he added.
PM Khan said that the looming humanitarian crisis will affect not just Pakistan and Iran; other countries will eventually face refugee problems as well.
Criticizing the conservative approach of EU & US with respect to hosting refugees, Khan added, “Even in much richer countries, you have 2000-3000 refugees and there’s an issue, the far-right parties raises this issue. But poor countries like us who’re struggling, whose economy is just about getting on their feet – how do we cope with hundreds and thousands of refugees?”
PM Imran Khan also underscored the importance of raising collective voice on all international issues including Kashmir and Palestine.
This is the first instance that the extraordinary OIC meeting comprising 57 predominantly Islamic member countries in addition to P5(permanent member states of the security council) countries as observers is being convened in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad after 1974. The meeting is aimed at taking a unified approach to countering the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s Recommendations at the OIC meeting
Pakistan proposes six-point strategy at Extraordinary OIC meeting to help Afghan people:
- Create a channel within OIC to send immediate humanitarian & financial support to Afghans
- Increase investment in education, health, technical skills for Afghan youth
- A group of experts comprised of representatives from the OIC, the UN, and international financial institutions will be formed to facilitate access to the banking system and help ease the liquidity challenges that Afghans face.
- Enhance food security of the Afghan people
- Invest in strengthening Afghan institutions’ capacity to combat terrorism and illicit drug trafficking
- Engage Afghan authorities to help them meet the international community’s expectations for inclusivity, human rights, particularly women’s rights, and combating terrorism.