Excellency Recep Tayyib Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey,
Your Majesties, Royal Highnesses, Excellencies,
Excellency, Mr. Secretary General, Distinguished Delegates,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Let me begin by extending our heartfelt facilitations to you Mr. President on the assumption of the Chairmanship of the 13th Islamic Summit Conference by the Republic of Turkey.
I am happy to be in this historic city of Istanbul famous for its beauty and elegance. I thank the Government of Turkey for the warm and generous hospitality extended to me and my delegation.
I take this opportunity to convey our appreciation to the Republic of Egypt for its contributions as the outgoing Chair of the Islamic Summit.
We also commend Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani’s wise and able stewardship of our Organization.
We are meeting at a time when the Muslim Ummah is facing unprecedented threat to its fraternity and harmony. The selection of the theme of the Summit – “Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace”, therefore, is most relevant and timely.
It is unfortunate that from amongst us, some dark forces harboring detestable notions, are trampling on fundamental human values. Their brutality and savagery is repelling. Our hearts bleed when they seek to justify their brutality in the name of our noble religion.
We must not allow the divisive schemes of these negatives forces to succeed. We must all hold fast together and resolve our differences through consultations amongst ourselves
The challenges confronting the Muslim world are enormous. We are proud inheritors of a civilization that was a trail-blazer in science and technology, art and culture and philosophy. Sadly, today we are suffering, in many parts, from underdevelopment, illiteracy and backwardness.
Collectively, we need to focus on reclaiming our roles as harbingers of positive change. We must establish peace in our own societies, promote respect for differing views and curb any tendency to impose our views on others.
For the peace and security of the world, it is equally critical to shed colonial legacies of today’s polity and to rectify the historic injustices. Pakistan opposes foreign domination of Muslim people and occupation of their territories, as well as denial of their right to self determination.
An immediate, just and fair resolution of the Palestinian question is critical for peace, especially in the Middle East. Pakistan’s support to our Palestinian brothers has remained unreserved and firm. We will continue to support the people of Palestine in their struggle for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
The unresolved Jammu and Kashmir Dispute is the other longstanding dispute of concern to the Muslim Ummah. The people of this occupied territory look towards the OIC Member States’ further continued support to their just struggle for their right to self-determination and the settlement of the issue in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.
Pakistan will continue to extend its political, diplomatic and moral support to the valiant people of the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, in their peaceful efforts for achieving their right to self-determination.
The continued inability of the international community to promote a just and fair solution to these issues creates distrust in the efficacy of the international order. We must deliver on people’s hopes and aspirations, to deny space to those who exploit the sense of injustice and the pain of unabated injuries.
We are deeply concerned at the continuing and deliberate attempts to defame Islam and denigrate our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and our religious symbols. There are increasing instances of religious intolerance and discrimination against Muslims, especially Muslim minorities. We condemn Islamophobia, xenophobia and hate speech.
We attach high importance to the freedom of expression but we stand equally committed to the concern shared by OIC member states that it should not be misused to attack or hurt people’s sentiments or religious beliefs.
The World today needs, more than ever, a culture of tolerance and co-existence in societies. Pakistan has participated and will continue to contribute towards promoting inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.
Recent tragic incidents, from Brussels to Lahore and from Paris to Ankara, have once again reminded us that terrorism and violent extremism are a global phenomenon, not confined to any country or region. They have nothing to do with religion, nationality, creed or ethnicity. Countering them requires comprehensive policies and increased international cooperation.
Pakistan’s sacrifices and contribution for counter terrorism are unmatched. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Our counter-terrorism operation “Zarb-e-Azb” is successfully progressing towards the goal of eliminating all terrorists.
The guiding principles of our Government’s foreign policy are: “Peace for Development” and “Peaceful Neighborhood”. Immediately upon assuming office, the Prime Minister sent the message of peace to all our neighbours.
In the spirit of peace, we are committed to resolving all outstanding issues with India, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
During the 70th Session of the UNGA in September 2015, we suggested a four point strategy aimed at improving Pakistan-India relations and ensuring peace and development in the region. Despite odds, we hold on to the hope that our desire for peace would be reciprocated.
We look forward to an uninterruptible, sustained and result oriented dialogue with India.
Pakistan desires lasting peace in Afghanistan, which can only be achieved through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. The Quadrilateral Coordination Group comprising Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China is engaged in serious efforts for facilitating early peace talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban. Pakistan will continue to play a positive role in these efforts.
Lasting peace in Afghanistan will open new vistas for regional economic cooperation and infrastructure connectivity, which is another crucial element of my government’s policy. The most promising manifestation of this policy is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which comprises multiple infrastructure and development projects that would benefit not only the two countries but the entire region.
The OIC-2025 Programme of Action that we would adopt at this Summit is the first step towards realization of our joint commitment of making progress on the 18 identified priority areas. Pakistan stands ready to contribute towards effective implementation of the Programme of Action.
Socio-economic development and progress in science and technology are inter-dependent. Pakistan is privileged to host the OIC Committee on Science and Technology – COMSTECH. This Committee has, despite resource constraints, taken commendable steps for strengthening science and technology capacities in OIC Member States including hundreds of research grants and S & T thematic workshops. COMSTECH is also considering a major initiative, Ibn al Haitham Program for intra-OIC movement of researchers to mark the 1000th anniversary of this great Muslim scientist. We welcome the generous offer of government of Kazakhastan to host the first ‘Science and Technology Summit’.
As the second largest inter-governmental organization, OIC must strive to reform the United Nations to make it more effective in dealing with the current and emerging challenges that confront all of us.
A more democratic, accountable, transparent and effective Security Council is in the interest of all the member states.
We must ensure adequate representation of the OIC Member States in the membership of an expanded Security Council. With clear stakes, we should all join hands to safeguard and promote our collective interest in this process.
As custodians of the affairs of the Muslim Ummah, the decisions that we take today would impact its future. Undoubtedly, well considered decisions, not only political but also in the fields of economics, education, science, technology, society and culture, are essential for the realization of our common goal of building peaceful, progressive and prosperous societies in our countries.
Pakistan remains committed to the noble ideals of our Organization and will continue to contribute towards achieving its objectives.
I thank you.
14 April, 2016
Last modified: November 18, 2019
Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world.