ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood on Friday met heads of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) resident missions in Islamabad and thanked Saudi Arabia and other member states for their “valuable contributions” for the 17th extraordinary session of the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers on Afghanistan, the Pakistani foreign office said.
The OIC summit was held in Islamabad on December 19 with a focus on the looming economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Around 70 delegations from OIC member states, non-members, and regional and international organizations attended the summit. Nearly 20 delegations were led by foreign ministers and 10 by deputies or ministers of state.
The OIC agreed to establish a Humanitarian Trust Fund to channel assistance to Afghanistan, appoint a special envoy and work together with the UN in Afghanistan.
“The Foreign Secretary thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its capacity as the OIC Summit Chair and other Members for their valuable contributions to the successful outcome,” the Pakistani foreign office said in a statement.
He highlighted that high-level participation by foreign ministers and senior representatives at such a short notice was not only an expression of the OIC’s strong support and solidarity for the Afghan people, but it also affirmed its leading role on the issue.
Mahmood stressed that decisions taken during the summit, including the establishment of the Humanitarian Trust Fund, appointment of an OIC special envoy for Afghanistan, revitalization of the OIC Mission in Kabul, creation of the Afghanistan Food Security Program and initiation of discussions to devise a roadmap to unlock financial and banking channels in Afghanistan, were all tangible and concrete steps.
“We must build on this momentum,” he said, stressing that pledges to the Humanitarian Trust Fund by OIC member states would be important to turn “collective commitments” into “concrete actions.”
Earlier this week, the first batch of Saudi aid reached the Afghan capital of Kabul via Pakistan to help the war-torn country fight food and medicine shortages after the Taliban took it over in mid-August
Pakistan also sent a consignment of 1800 metric tons (MT) of wheat as humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan through the Torkham border crossing on Thursday.
“Pakistan looks forward to the participation of all OIC Foreign Ministers at the meeting in March 2022, which coincides with the 75thAnniversary celebrations of Pakistan’s independence,” the Pakistani foreign office said further.
“The Foreign Secretary stressed that as a founding member of the OIC, Pakistan remains committed to further strengthening fraternal bonds and substantive cooperation within the Muslim Ummah,” it added.