Ambassador of Pakistan to Egypt Sajid Bilal said in a press conference on Wednesday that Egypt is an important country in the Muslim world and its contributions are widely acknowledged and appreciated.
He added that Pakistan looks forward to Egypt’s participation at the highest level in the 48th Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM).
The ambassador said that it would be Pakistan’s distinct privilege to host the 48th CFM in Islamabad between 22 and 23 March after a hiatus of nearly 15 years. This session will coincide with the 75th anniversary celebrations of Pakistan’s independence.
“We look forward to welcoming OIC Foreign Ministers to Pakistan on this ‘special’ occasion,” Bilal said.
“The Islamic world is faced with a plethora of challenges. The people of Palestine and the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir continue to be deprived of their inalienable right to self-determination.”
He also mentioned that the rising tide of Islamophobia and hate speech threatens Muslim communities across many parts of the world.
“Millions of our Afghan brethren remain at the mercy of the elements and confront an uncertain future at the hands of hunger and disease and the detritus impact of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to be fully contained,” the ambassador added.
He explained that during its chairmanship of the CFM, Pakistan will sincerely endeavour to promote unity among member states, advance the cause of justice for Islamic peoples, and to achieve the mutually reinforcing goals of prosperity and development for all OIC member states.
“Ensuring full and complete recovery from the effects of the pandemic also remains a key priority for us,” he stressed.
He revealed that the proposed theme of the 48th Session, ‘Partnering for Unity, Justice, and Development’, fully encapsulates these priorities.
“We will seek to build partnerships across the Islamic world and build bridges of cooperation to address the myriad of challenges confronting the Ummah.”
He also mentioned that the range of issues before the 48th session is both broad-based and diverse.
“Our discussions would encapsulate matters of peace and security, economic development, cultural and scientific cooperation, and revitalising the role of the OIC. The more than 100 resolutions that will be adopted during the session will articulate the OIC’s perspective on major contemporary issues,” he said.
Furthermore, he revealed that the session will also provide an opportunity to take stock of and review the decisions taken during the 17th extraordinary session to alleviate the urgent humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
“During our previous Chairmanship of the CFM in 2007-08, Pakistan led negotiations on the new OIC Charter — a manifestation of our conviction that the Organisation must be kept attuned to the dynamic and fast-evolving needs of our times,” he pointed out.
He stressed that Pakistan will continue to work with other OIC member states towards harnessing “collective ambition” into “concrete action”, and to take tangible steps to further strengthen bonds of Islamic solidarity and cooperation.
“We are confident that the 48th CFM would prove to be a landmark session in our combined efforts to chart a joint Islamic way forward. On our part, Pakistan remains committed to support all efforts aiming to promote unity, brotherhood, and prosperity among the Muslim world.”