Pakistani foreign minister to attend OIC ‘Islamophobia’ meet in Turkey

Photo caption: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses a media briefing in Islamabad on Thursday along with Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Haroon Sharif, Chairman Board of Investment. (Photo courtesy: Foreign Office)
Updated 21 March 2019
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Pakistani foreign minister to attend OIC ‘Islamophobia’ meet in Turkey

  • Turkey called the Friday meeting to discuss New Zealand mosque attacks and “increasing violence based on Islamophobia”
  • Apart from OIC members, representatives of the United Nations, European Union also invited to attend

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign minister said on Thursday he would leave for Turkey that evening to attend an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss ways to tackle Islamophobia in the aftermath of attacks on two mosques in New Zealand last week.

At least 50 people, including nine Pakistanis, were killed in twin attacks on two mosques by an ultra-right white extremist who live-streamed the assaults and posted an elaborate racist manifesto online.

Turkey announced the emergency meeting of the OIC to discuss the New Zealand mosque attacks and "increasing violence based on Islamophobia". The country's foreign ministry said in a statement published on Thursday that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu would chair the meeting to be held in Istanbul on Friday.

“Turkey, as the OIC Summit Chair, has called upon holding an emergency meeting for discussing the increasing violence based on Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia, in particular the terrorist attack that targeted two mosques in New Zealand on 15 March 2019,” the statement said.

It also said that apart from the OIC members, the representatives of the United Nations, the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe were also invited to the meeting.


Pakistani politicians, analysts appreciate Saudi Crown Prince’s stance on regional peace

Updated 17 June 2019
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Pakistani politicians, analysts appreciate Saudi Crown Prince’s stance on regional peace

  • The Crown Prince’s recent statement reflects his wisdom and restraint, says Senator Sehar Kamran
  • International community must act to defuse situation in the Middle East, maintains senior analyst Zahid Hussain

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s major political parties and analysts on Monday appreciated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s statement that the Kingdom did not want a war in the Middle East.
In an interview last week, the Crown Prince also called for a decisive international position against Iran.
“At this very critical moment, the demonstration of restraint by the Saudi Crown Prince is very much appreciated. This shows his wisdom and rationale,” Senator Sehar Kamran of the Pakistan Peoples Party told Arab News, adding: “I believe the entire world will applaud the statement. We must give peace a chance and support efforts for political solution to all outstanding issues.”
“The international community can play an important role in reminding Iran of the consequences [of war] and help initiate a dialogues process to prevent further escalation of tensions in the region,” she continued.
Kamran said the recent attack on a Saudi oil tanker was a serious issue and must be strongly condemned.
“Every nation has the right to protect its sovereignty and national assets,” she noted. “Iran must act as a responsible state. A transparent investigation of the attack by the United Nations and collective wisdom on the issue will be the best option.”
Echoing her sentiment, Romina Khurshid Alam of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party also welcomed the Crown Prince’s statement.

“Our party leadership has always advocated for peace in the region and supports Pakistan’s role as a mediator to resolve all outstanding issues,” she said.
Omar Sarfraz Cheema, the central information secretary of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, told Arab News that “the PTI strongly condemns attacks on Saudi facilities by Houthis.”
He recalled that the Pakistani leadership had expressed its desire to play a mediator’s role for peace and stability in the Middle East.
Last week, Cheema told Arab News that Prime Minister Imran Khan had already urged the Houthis to engage in “meaningful dialogue” with Saudi Arabia to resolve the conflict. “This is a divisive issue for the whole Muslim world and should be resolved through negotiations,” he added.
“Peace is essential for the development of countries in the Middle East,” former Pakistani ambassador Rizwan-ul-Haq told Arab News. “Any country which upsets the tranquility and peace of the region must be invited to explain its position to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and asked to change its stance in a unanimous and decisive way.”
“We should sit together with transgressors and find a diplomatic solution before resorting to extreme measures,” he added.
Veteran Pakistani political commentator Zahid Hussain said that “the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf and oil facilities in the Kingdom have created a serious security situation in the Middle East and there is an urgent need for the international community to act and defuse the situation.”
“The Crown Prince is right that war is not an option,” he added.