Honorable Foreign Minister Kalla Ankourao of the Republic of Niger,
Secretary General Dr. Yousaf bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen,
Distinguished Colleagues, Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen,
Let me, at the outset, congratulate Foreign Minister Ankourao for assuming the Chair of the 47th CFM Session.
Our deepest appreciation to Niger for the hospitality and the excellent arrangements. I carry warm sentiments of goodwill and amity from the people of Pakistan.
I also express my profound gratitude for the OIC General Secretariat, for facilitating this important meeting.
Let me also appreciate His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Foreign Minister of United Arab Emirates for his leadership as the outgoing Chair.
As we meet today, the Ummah is at an inflection point, with enormous challenges ahead.
One such challenge that the whole humanity faces, is COVID-19 pandemic. To effectively confront it, we need to coordinate our actions, benefit from each other’s experiences and pool our resources by bringing governments, scientists and research institutions together.
By the Grace of Allah, Pakistan has been able to contain the worst effects of the pandemic, despite having the world’s fifth largest population. We are humbled that our response is cited among global success stories. Yet no one is out of the woods and a second wave is hitting us all.
Pakistan is ready to share its experience with Muslim countries. Pakistan has also been at the forefront of highlighting and working on peculiar challenges posed to the developing countries because of COVID-19 due to shrinking fiscal space. It was in this context that Prime Minister Imran Khan called for a “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries.
The pandemic is just one of the challenges the Ummah continues to face.
Islamophobia and hatred toward Muslims is on steep rise in the West and elsewhere.
Recent despicable incidents like desecration of the Holy Quran and reprinting of caricatures of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) have seriously hurt the sentiments of over 1.8 billion Muslims around the world.
These shameful acts cannot and should not be justified in the name of freedom of expression.
The rise and political mainstreaming of far-right extremism in many countries is creating a hostile environment for Muslims. It is critical to raise awareness about this new scourge. Pakistan has always played the lead role in combating Islamophobia, and will continue to do so.
It is as part of these efforts that we are asking this forum to authorize the Secretariat to launch an international campaign for outlawing willful provocation against Muslims and incitement to hate. I also propose designating 15 March as the ‘International Day to Combat Islamophobia’. A resolution to this effect has already been tabled.
The rising wave of Hindutva in India has emerged as a serious threat not only to Indian Muslims but also to regional security.
The RSS-BJP dispensation openly espouses Hindutva, an ultranationalist ideology marked by extreme animus towards Muslims.
The Modi government is systematically attacking the country’s over 180 million Muslims. Incidents of mob lynching have witnessed a steep rise; we saw systematic violence and targeted killing of over 50 Muslims in New Delhi in February 2020; discriminatory steps targeting Muslims including the arbitrary stripping of nationality and discriminatory citizenship laws are horrendous examples.
Muslims are even stigmatized as spreaders of the Corona virus.
On 5 August 2020, in clear violation of OIC resolutions, the Indian Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of a Hindu temple on the site of the historic Babri Mosque that was demolished by Hindu extremists in 1992. A few weeks later, the culprits involved in its planned destruction, including many senior BJP politicians, were exonerated of their crime by a special court.
International media and human rights organizations have reported this. We must take cognizance of these crimes lest we see another bloodbath of Indian Muslims.
The suffering and the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) remains particularly dire. In the backdrop of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, IIOJK has turned into a grave human and humanitarian tragedy.
For over 15 months now, over 8 million Kashmiris continue to face lockdown, military siege, communications blockade, arbitrary detentions, and unprecedented restrictions. The entire occupied territory has turned into the world’s largest open air prison.
Operating under draconian laws with complete impunity, Indian occupation forces are committing unspeakable atrocities to silence the voice of the Kashmiris and break their will. Extra-judicial killings in fake “encounters”; “cordon-and-search” operations; destruction of property and torching of houses as collective punishment; systematic intimidation of local media; and indiscriminate use of pellet guns against unarmed peaceful protestors have become the order of the day.
Efforts to change the demographic structure of IIOJK are part of the nefarious Indian designs. Under the so-called “Jammu & Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020”, 2 million ‘domicile’ certificates have been issued in the last six months. Similarly, the laws meant to provide protection to the people of IIOJK regarding land ownership have been revoked.
These actions are in clear violation of the UNSC resolutions and international law, in particular the 4th Geneva Convention.
International human rights organizations, media, parliaments and civil society organizations the world over are condemning India. Statements by the UN Secretary General and other world leaders, as well as several rounds of consultations at the UN Security Council, have served to underscore the internationally recognised nature of Jammu and Kashmir dispute, as also the need for a just and durable solution in line with the relevant UNSC Resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
The RSS-BJP regime in India, however, refuses to respond to these appeals.
To gloss over its crimes and malign the indigenous resistance movement in IIOJK, India hurls false accusations of “cross-border terrorism” against Pakistan and may resort to a “false flag” operation and undertake another misadventure.
India also continues to commit violations of the 2003 ceasefire understanding along the Line of Control (LoC), deliberately targeting the civilian population.
Pakistan is exercising maximum restraint but our patience is not unlimited.
While Pakistan has been at the forefront of fighting the menace of terrorism, India has been weaving a web of terrorism in Pakistan.
We have prepared a dossier on India’s state sponsorship of terrorism against Pakistan and provided incontrovertible proof to the international community. We hope that the OIC collectively, and Muslim countries individually, will play a role in stopping India from following this dangerous course.
We deeply appreciate the new CFM Chair Niger’s Foreign Minister Ankaourao, Chair of 14th Islamic Summit Saudi Arabia’s FM Prince Farhan bin Faisal, and Turkish FM Cavusoglu (speaking on behalf of Asian Group) for highlighting J&K dispute in their statements in the Opening Plenary Session.
The OIC has been at the forefront of efforts to support the legitimate and just struggle of the people of IIOJK for their inalienable right to self-determination.
Since 5 August 2019, the OIC Contact Group on J&K has held three meetings, including two Ministerial Meetings by adopting unanimous Communiqués.
Visit of the Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and AJK in March this year was another manifestation of the OIC support on the J&K dispute. We welcome the Report on the Special Envoy’s visit.
The beleaguered people of IIOJK, now more than ever, look towards the OIC and the Ummah to help alleviate their sufferings.
I appeal to the OIC countries to also use their political influence and economic clout to prevent India from committing further atrocities in IIOJK.
It is imperative for the CFM to demand that India: rescind its illegal and unilateral actions; immediately halt its egregious human rights violations; provide access to IIOJK to human rights organizations, including the UN fact finding mission and OIC IPHRC; and take practical steps to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UNSC resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people.
We look for to the 47th CFM reaffirming its strong support for the Kashmiri people by adopting the resolution tabled by Pakistan.
Palestine is another wound that continues to fester. Taking advantage of the unstable security situation in the region, Israel continues to take unilateral steps that fly in the face of the two-state solution.
Peace and stability in the Middle East is a priority for Pakistan. Illegal annexation of the Palestinian territory, building of illegal settlements and inhuman living conditions of the Palestinian make realization of that dream more difficult every passing day.
Let me reiterate Pakistan’s abiding commitment to the Palestinian people. For a just, lasting and comprehensive peace, Pakistan continues to support a united, contiguous and independent Palestinian state, in line with UN General Assembly and Security Council Resolutions, within the internationally agreed parameters, pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
Peace in Afghanistan is key to stability and progress of the entire region. Apart from Afghanistan itself, Pakistan has suffered the most from conflict in Afghanistan, and will be the biggest beneficiary of peace in the country.
Pakistan’s efforts aimed at achieving this goal have been widely acknowledged and appreciated.
We continue to fully support the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and hope that our collective endeavours will result in a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
Pakistan has also consistently supported the resolution of Nagorno Karabagh dispute in accordance with international law and relevant UNSC resolutions. We congratulate the government and brotherly people of Azerbaijan on their remarkable success against Armenian aggression, and liberation of their territories. The trilateral agreement offers a renewed opportunity for establishing peace in the South Caucasus region.
Pakistan has a long and illustrious history partnering our African friends, whether it is supporting freedom struggles from colonial rule or the struggle against apartheid. We have extended humanitarian assistance and capacity building programs, and contributed to peace and security in the continent through UN Peacekeeping Missions.
Pakistan has embarked upon a new, path-breaking “Engage Africa” initiative to strengthen political and diplomatic linkages, and further deepen and broad mutually beneficial trade and economic ties.
Pakistan reaffirms full solidarity and support for the aspirations and endeavours of African nations for peace, progress and prosperity.
As we congregate, the OIC has just completed 50 years of its existence. On this important milestone, we need to reiterate our commitment and consolidate our efforts to enhance the effectiveness of OIC as a collective voice of the Muslim Ummah.
I wish to highlight that our Organization was established to forge unity and solidarity of the Ummah against common challenges. For its part, Pakistan remains committed to promoting the OIC as the sole and most effective voice of the Ummah. Pakistan will continue to work closely with the OIC for developing mechanisms to advance this objective.
We are looking forward to hosting the 48th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers next year and welcoming you all. I avail this opportunity to extend a cordial invitation to all of you to visit Pakistan.
As the prospective CFM Chair, Pakistan is ready to constructively engage with the entire membership to promote unity, peace and prosperity among the Muslim Ummah.
I wish colleagues a successful CFM Session.
I Thank you.
Last modified: November 27, 2020
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