ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s newly-appointed Permanent Representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, met with the OIC’s Secretary General, Dr. Yousaf bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, at the group’s headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Monday.
A statement released by Pakistan’s consulate in Jeddah said that Sheikh then presented his credentials to the OIC’s Secretary General.
“Presentation of credentials by Ambassador Sheikh marked the establishment of Pakistan’s dedicated Permanent Mission to the OIC and other international organizations. Earlier, ambassadors of Pakistan in Riyadh used to represent the country at the OIC,” it added.
Pakistan’s decision to establish its permanent mission is an acknowledgement of the OIC’s various resolutions which encourages member states to set up their respective missions in Jeddah and handle their affairs in a more efficient manner.
The establishment of the new mission – which coincides with the golden jubilee celebrations of the OIC – is based on a system-wide approach, reflecting Pakistan’s intent “to strengthen its engagement with the Islamic body and other specialized and subsidiary institutions that are a part of the broader OIC system.”
“As a founding member, Pakistan attaches great importance to the OIC, which apart from lending an institutional expression to the pan-Islamic sentiments is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the UN,” the statement read.
The OIC, for its part, has always extended its consistent support to the Kashmir cause.
Additionally, Islamabad remains one of the largest beneficiaries of the financial assistance provided by the Islamic Development Bank group – a specialized branch of the OIC system.
The statement added that setting up of the permanent mission is also aimed at “enhancing Pakistan’s footprint in the organization and forging a mutually-beneficial, multifaceted relationship with the larger OIC system.”
It follows a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia by Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Information and Broadcasting on November 25, where she attended the OIC’s golden jubilee celebrations in Jeddah.