March 24, 2022| Media Briefing|
[This is a rush transcript. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated]
Ladies and Gentlemen, Happy Pakistan Day
Welcome to this press briefing that I would like to focus primarily on the 48th Session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers that Pakistan has hosted from 22-23 March 2022.The Conference was a resounding success on all counts – from organizational and management points of view to substantive preparations and outcomes.
Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of independence, the Conference is a landmark in Pakistan’s history and in the context of our leading role in the Islamic world. It was a great event for Pakistan’s diplomacy.
Being the regular Session, the Conference had a full agenda, and the Foreign Ministers adopted a whole range of significant outcomes – declarations, communiqués and resolutions.
In the Joint Stakeout last night, the Foreign Minister and the OIC Secretary-General highlighted some of the key outcomes.
Let me present to you the context, objectives and achievements of this Conference in a little bit more detail.
Significance and context:
The meeting took place in the backdrop of conflicts and tensions around the world, persistent denial of justice, and rising inequalities.
There are opportunities in the economic, scientific and technological areas that need to be tapped.
To overcome these challenges and to leverage opportunities, partnerships are essential among the Islamic world and beyond.
Therefore Pakistan’s presentation of an overarching theme: “Partnering for Unity, Justice and Development” meant a realistic appraisal of current challenges and opportunities faced by the Muslim Ummah, and presentation of shared vision and plans to address them.
The CFM articulated a clear message that the Muslim world was desirous of becoming a partner in peace, not conflict.
The CFM once again recognized Pakistan’s leading role in the OIC. The meeting also sent out a special expression of solidarity with the people of Pakistan on the country’s 75th anniversary of Independence.
Pakistan’s prominent role in the OIC is evident by:
• A) Robust Participation: Over 800 foreign delegates; over 45 Ministerial level participants, high level dignitaries – from OIC Member & Observer States, and international and regional organizations. And the important and unprecedented participation by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as a Special Guest.
• B) Robust Engagement: This CFM was the 7th high-level OIC meeting convened by Pakistan since the organizations’ establishment in 1969: (two Summits in Feb. 1974 and March 1997); five CFMs (Dec. 1970, May 1980, April 1993, May 2007, and March 2022), besides three Extra-ordinary Sessions.
Major Outcomes (Overall)
• Key indicators: 1) Islamabad Declaration; 2) Forceful resolution on Jammu and Kashmir Dispute; 3) Comprehensive Joint Communiqué and an Action Plan by the Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir; 4) Strong resolution on Palestine; 5) Operationalization of OIC Humanitarian Trust Fund on Afghanistan; 6) Appointment of OIC Special Envoy on Islamophobia; 7) Resolution on threats to peace and security in South Asia – grave concerns over Indian missile launch incident of 9 March; 8) Pakistan’s proposal to convene a Ministerial Conference to identify mechanisms and tools for promotion of peace and prevention of conflicts in the Muslim world.
• 140 resolutions on the entire range of political, security, humanitarian, economic, social, legal and financial issues; Muslim minorities, Islamophobia, Arms Control, Terrorism, COVID-19 response, Illicit Financial Flows and Corruption, Mediation, OIC Reforms.
• 20 resolutions sponsored or co-sponsored by Pakistan: Jammu and Kashmir, Arms Control, Peace and Security in South Asia, UN Security Council reform, Muslim Minorities, Situation in Afghanistan, Islamophobia, Countering Terrorism, Illicit Financial Flows, Combatting Corruption, COVID-19 Response, Pakistan’s 75th anniversary celebrations.
Key Outcomes from Pakistan’s perspective
Jammu and Kashmir Dispute: Eight indicators
• 1) Unanimous adoption of a forceful resolution on Jammu and Kashmir dispute: 2) robust advocacy by the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister; 3) strong expressions of support and solidarity in statements by OIC Secretary General, Saudi Arabia, Niger, Asian, Arab and African Groups, China in the inaugural session, plus speaker after speaker who supported the OIC position on Kashmir in the Plenary; 4) adoption of comprehensive Joint Communiqué by J&K Contact Group; 5) Action Plan by Contact Group and its approval by CFM; 6) Presentation of visit reports by OIC Special Envoy on Jammu and Kashmir, IPHRC and ASG for Humanitarian Affairs; 7) strong reiteration of solidarity and support in Islamabad Declaration; 8) endorsement of Pakistan’s position on legal, diplomatic, human rights, humanitarian and peace and security dimensions of the Jammu and Kashmir issue.
Main highlights of OIC Resolution on Jammu and Kashmir Dispute:
• Strong expression of support and solidarity with the Kashmiri people; their inalienable right to self-determination and rejection of Indian attempts to equate their just cause for freedom from Indian occupation with terrorism
• Emphasis that the question of Jammu and Kashmir is of utmost importance for Muslim Ummah, and required a unified position from Member States at international fora;
• Robust endorsement of support for settlement of the dispute in accordance with UNSC resolutions, its final disposition under UN supervised plebiscite and the indispensability of its just settlement for durable peace in South Asia
• Reiteration of rejection of India’s unilateral and illegal actions since 5 August 2019, and the demand from India to reverse those actions including demographic changes
• Deplores human rights violations in IIOJK; and calls for issuance of updated report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir: Highlights
• On CFM sidelines, a Ministerial meeting of the OIC Contact Group on J& K was held. This was the sixth meeting of the Contact Group since 5 August 2019.
• The Group adopted a comprehensive Joint Communiqué that articulates OIC’s unified position on the human rights, humanitarian, peace and security and legal dimensions of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
• The Group also adopted a forward-looking plan of action on Jammu and Kashmir outlining measures and activities by OIC Member States, the Contact Group, the OIC Secretary General and OIC Secretariat, the OIC’s Human Rights Commission, the OIC Special Envoy on J& K and OIC subsidiary organs to advance the Kashmir cause.
• The reports on the visits of Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir and Assistant Secretary General (Humanitarian Affairs) and IPHRC to Pakistan and AJK in 2021 were presented to the CFM.
Situation in Afghanistan: Highlights
• Presentation of report by the OIC Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Afghanistan to the CFM on progress achieved on decisions reached at the December 2021 Extra-ordinary Meeting, and on a comprehensive OIC vision for its continued engagement with the country.
• OIC Humanitarian Trust Fund operationalized during the CFM: Charter of the Fund signed by OIC SG and President of Islamic Development Bank on 21 March in presence of the Foreign Minister.
• Adoption of a comprehensive resolution on Afghanistan covering political, security, humanitarian and economic aspects-sponsored by Pakistan.
• Agreement by CFM to provide adequate financial support to the office of the OIC Special Envoy and to strengthen the OIC Mission in Kabul.
Islamophobia and Related Subjects: Highlights
• Adoption of a comprehensive resolution on Islamophobia with substantial inputs by Pakistan.
• CFM decision to appoint OIC Special Envoy on Islamophobia to lead collective efforts on the organization’s behalf.
• Welcoming of the unanimous adoption of UN General Assembly proclaiming 15 March as International Day to Combat Islamophobia. This process, as you know was led by Pakistan since 47th CFM in Niger.
• Proposals to strengthen the OIC’s Islamophobia Observatory: to continue documentation of Islamophobic incidents and preparation of a list of “countries of concern” where Islamophobic policies and actions are prevalent.
• Adoption of comprehensive resolution on Muslim Minorities in non-OIC countries; expressing serious concerns over stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination and violence against Muslims in India.
• Welcoming of establishment of RehmatullilAalameen Authority by Pakistan
Strengthening OIC Cooperation to a) Combat Illicit Financial Flows and b) Strengthening Intra-OIC Cooperation against Corruption: Highlights
• Unanimous adoption of the joint Pakistan-Saudi Arabian resolution on Strengthening OIC Cooperation to prevent and combat Illicit Financial Flows: reiterates call to all States to develop strong legal tools and step-up efforts for recovery and return of stolen assets and illicit financial flows;
• Unanimous adoption of the joint Pakistan-Saudi Arabian resolution on Strengthening Intra-OIC Cooperation on Anti-Corruption: welcomes ‘Islamabad Declaration on Combating Corruption’ hosted by Pakistan in collaboration with OIC-IPHRC on 7 January 2022 and supports OIC Secretariat’s efforts to prepare a draft OIC anti-corruption convention;
• Adoption of Pakistan-Turkey joint resolution on ‘Strengthening Cooperation and Solidarity in response to Covid-19 in the Muslim World’. The resolution:
o calls for vaccine equity- universal, fair, affordable and timely access to COVID-19 vaccines, and related essential health products, equipment and technologies.
o Encourages joint research, trial, development and production among member states in vaccines particularly against Covid-19;
o urges the OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) to coordinate with interested Member States, OIC institutions and international partners to establish a consortium of research institutions for strengthening vaccine production in OIC States.
Appreciation for Pakistan’s Initiatives
• Adoption of two new resolutions – felicitating Pakistan’s 75th anniversary of its independence, and expression of grave concerns over launch of a supersonic Indian missile into Pakistan on 9 March. The Ministers endorsed Pakistan’s call for a joint probe into the incident, and expressed serious concern on the threat it posed to regional and international peace and security.
• Appreciation for Pakistan’s‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami’ initiative to revive forest and wildlife resources.
• Welcoming of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Debt Relief Initiative for developing countries and his advocacy for declaring COVID-19 vaccines and treatments as public good.
• Expression of profound gratitude to Pakistan for its continued support and facilitation to OIC Commission on Science and Technology (COMSTECH), and request for generous support for COMSTECH.
• Lauded Pakistan’s efforts for adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution on “Promoting Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue”, acknowledging significance and respect for religious symbols and revered personalities.
Pakistan’s Election to Different OIC Bodies
• Unopposed re-election of Ambassador Tasnim Aslam of Pakistan, as a Member of the OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission.
• During the preparatory process for the CFM Session, Pakistan was unanimously elected as a Member of the governing bodies of three OIC institutions, namely Islamic Center for Development and Trade, Casablanca, Islamic University of Technology, Dhaka, Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Center for the Islamic Countries (SESRIC), Ankara.
Before moving to the Islamabad Declaration, let me inform you that the Senior Officials meeting (SOM) that the Foreign Secretary chaired in Jeddah in January had finalized over 100 resolutions. The remaining work on the resolutions and other outcomes continued here in Islamabad, in the Special Committee, that convened over two days (22-23 March) in parallel with the Plenary, and was also chaired by Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood.
This speaks volumes about Pakistan’s diplomatic skills, our patience, our ability to build bridges and evolve consensus, that all resolutions that were on the table were finally agreed and adopted.
We worked till late because of the fact that we wanted all resolutions to be considered properly and given due time, and agreement reached. And it is what we achieved. In all, 140 resolutions were adopted by consensus.
Salient Points of the Islamabad Declaration
The Declaration captures the overarching theme of “Partnering for Unity, Justice and Development”.
2. The Declaration’s contents are inspired by noble Islamic values and ideals enshrined in the OIC Charter; and are anchored in the principles and purposes of UN Charter.
3. The Declaration represents our assessment of the global political, security, humanitarian, economic and technological issues and our vision and views to address them. The Declaration articulates the resolve of OIC Member States to:
a. promote and protect our common interests;
b. support our just causes such as Palestine, Kashmir and others;
c. unify our efforts to address common challenges and leverage opportunities;
d. uphold the rights and interests of Muslim minorities in non-OIC countries;
e. pursue a shared vision for greater social, economic, scientific and technological development and integration within the Muslim world and beyond;
4. It reaffirms our collective desire to: promote harmony, tolerance, peaceful co-existence, and better standards of life, human dignity and understanding among all peoples.
5. In the above context, the declarations contains a proposal for convening a Ministerial Meeting, to evolve solutions, develop mechanisms and tools to prevent conflicts and promote peace.
6. It welcomes the unanimous decision of UN General Assembly to proclaim 15 March as International Day to combat Islamophobia as well as the CFM decision to appoint a Special Envoy in this regard.
7. It rejects terrorism in all forms and manifestations and attempts to link this evil to any country, religion, nationality, race or civilization. It reiterates OIC’s strong position against attempts to equate the legitimate struggle of peoples for self-determination with terrorism.
8. The Declaration also articulates our views on the devastating social and economic impacts of COVID-19 as well as climate change on developing countries. It calls for a series of concrete actions on vaccine equity, debt relief, countering of illicit financial flows and fulfillment of climate financing commitments as well as technology transfer and capacity building.
9. It also acknowledges the growing role of innovation and emerging technologies in stimulating growth and digital transformation and expresses our shared resolve to promote linkages and partnerships.
10. On Ukraine, the Declaration expressed deep concern at the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation. It reaffirmed unequivocal support for the universal and consistent application of the principles of the UN Charter, including non-use of force, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and pacific settlement of disputes, to preserve and build international peace and security, to ensure equal security for all States, and respect for international humanitarian law.
11. Having deliberated on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the Ministers called for an immediate cessation of hostilities to prevent further loss of life and ensure that the humanitarian crisis does not worsen in Ukraine. They stressed the need for establishment humanitarian corridors to ensure safe movement of civilians from active conflict zones and the provision of humanitarian supplies. The declaration urged both sides to engage in meaningful dialogue with the purpose of finding a solution to the present conflict. It expressed the willingness of OIC member states to support and facilitate the dialogue process between all sides, if requested.
Other Engagements/Interactions during CFM
We also utilized the presence of Ministerial delegations to have a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines.
Foreign Ministers of Iraq, Egypt, Palestine and China called on the President.
President Islamic Development Bank, Foreign Ministers of Tajikistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, China, Palestine, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq called on the Prime Minister.
The Foreign Minister had meetings with OIC SG, counterparts from Egypt, Tajikistan, Tunisia, China, Bahrain Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Gambia, Turkmenistan, Palestine, Kyrgyz Republic, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand, High Representative for UNAOC, and US Under Secretary of State, and hosted 25 African Heads of Delegations over dinner.
The Foreign Secretary has also held several meetings on the sidelines.
I thank you and am ready take questions.
Question: Prime Minter during his statement at the OIC CFM mentioned about the formation of a Muslim Bloc. Were there any discussions on the formation of bloc during the session? (Zulqernain Haider, ARY)
Supplementary Question: In the past there have been efforts regarding the formation of Muslim bloc, later we had seen that the bloc went through difficult times. Once again Pakistan is playing a leading role for the formation of a Muslim bloc. How will this affect our relations with the west and impact the economic situation of Pakistan in-terms of ongoing negotiations with IMF, World Bank and FATF? (Rashida Sial, Abb Takk TV)
Answer: I think you need to understand this is in proper perspective. It is not about establishing blocs that are going to have some objectives or pursue interests and come in conflict with other member states or organizations.
The main thrust of the Prime Minister statement was on the need for ‘unity’ and collective actions of the Islamic Ummah, I think it is this aspect he stressed, and he clearly articulated his views that if we want to have influence and if we want to have our positions respected, safeguarded, promoted we have to be united and we have to take collective actions. And many other Member States expressed similar views during the Conference. That was a recurring thought in the proceedings. So it was not in meaning that you were relating, of being part of any bloc politics to which Pakistan does not subscribe.
Question: The resolutions which have been presented during the OIC session, a large number among these were presented by Pakistan. How many resolutions have been passed that was sponsored by Pakistan? Secondly, is there any update on the fund on Afghanistan? (Muhammad Yaseen Hashmi, Daily Urdu Times)
Supplementary Question: Which all resolutions were not passed during the session, if you can share details? As Pakistan had earlier proposed around 30 resolutions and around 20 of these have been passed? If you can share details of the remaining resolutions, they pertained to which subject and what were the reservations? (Sardar Aamir,Daily Maddar/ Royal News)
Answer: All resolutions that were on the table were finally agreed and adopted, as I informed earlier. We worked till late, and that’s why the Closing Plenary was slightly delayed, because we wanted all resolutions to be considered properly and given due time for discussion and evolving consensus.
On Afghanistan, there are a couple of resolutions – the main resolution on Afghanistan, and another one on regional initiatives regarding Afghanistan, and then on the sidelines, the Special Envoy briefed the Plenary Session about his activities, and the Charter signing ceremony of the Trust Fund that took place. There are countries that have already announced contributions, and now that the Fund has been established, we can expect that there will be other contributions forthcoming.
Question: Yesterday, we saw a decision by Taliban authorities of first allowing girls into secondary school and then disallowing them as well on the day that was supposed to happen. How does Pakistan see this move? (Anas Mallick, The Correspondent)
Answer: Basically it is for the Afghan authorities to respond to this and explain their position, but I can say that from Pakistan, from other regional countries, from the OIC countries and from the wider international community, there are clear expectations on certain elements, one is inclusivity, then human rights and women rights, especially girls education and there are other expectations about counter-terrorism. So on this particular subject, I think there is a clear expectation from the international community that the Afghan authorities need to understand and take the right steps.
Question: My question pertains to Afghanistan; beside humanitarian assistance no country has yet recognized Taliban government in Afghanistan. There are around 57 countries in OIC including Afghanistan and no country within OIC recognized Afghanistan government so far. Was there any discussion on this issue during the OIC Session? (Allah Noor, Mashriq TV)
Answer: The question of recognition has been out there and there are various perspectives on that. Our position is that it is better to proceed in a consensual way forward. But this was not in focus here. Let me recall that the December 2021 Session was focused solely on Afghanistan. And this (48th Session) was a regular Session, Afghanistan was one of the agenda items, there was discussion and with many countries expressing their views about Afghanistan, and I think this discussion is ongoing.
Question: I want to congratulate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on successfully organizing the OIC session. During the OIC session Ms. Uzra Zeya, Assistant Secretary of State of Democracy and Human Rights also visited Pakistan for the OIC Session. The purpose of this session was addressing the issues being faced by the Muslim Ummah especially to work for the release of frozen assets of Afghanistan and focus on the Kashmir cause. Do you think that the United Nations will agree to the report that will be presented by Ms. Uzra Zeya, so they can urge the member states for the resolution of issues as per UNSC resolutions? (Czechangez Khan Jadoon, Daily Payam-e-Khyber)
Answer: I thank you for your kind words. On your question, first of all we welcome the participation of the Under Secretary and as you know there was a bilateral meetings also with the Foreign Minister. The full range of bilateral issues and cooperation between Pakistan and the U.S. were discussed, and there were discussions also in the context of regional and global environment, the importance of the OIC, how the U.S. looks at the OIC. I think I do not need to say much, you would have seen the tweets by Ms. Zeya, they are very positive and I think they reflect the sense she would have taken back.
Question: I draw your attention to the resolution of Jammu and Kashmir. Point 41 of the resolution states that the United Nations Security Council must take practical and concrete steps including deployment of protection force. Now this is something very serious. Whether it is just one time request or this will be followed up with the United Nations. Is there any precedent that UN having acted in the past in certain countries to protect minorities to protect over there? (Shaukat Piracha, AAJ News)
Supplementary Question: Foreign Minister Qureshi announced that according to the plan of action on Kashmir the members of contact group will hold regular meetings. Can you share details of how frequent the meeting will take place in a year? (Nuaman Ishfaq Mughal, Daily Parliament Times)
Answer: I think these questions are best explained, if you have a look at the resolution and the Action Plan. So let me just highlight that the Action Plan contains a concrete set of measures that the OIC Member States, the members of the Contact Group themselves, the OIC Secretary-General and the Secretariat would be undertaking on a regular basis in terms of outreach, coordination of positions, monitoring of human rights, regular meetings in New York, Geneva and Jeddah, visits to both sides of LOC, periodic briefings to UNSG, Presidents of the Security Council, UNGA and the Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner and many other actions. Similarly there are actions to be undertaken by the Special Envoy on Jammu & Kashmir, and the activities on the human rights side by the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC). This is going to be a continuing effort, bringing the collective weight of the OIC behind it, and making an impact.
Now on the other question, as you know currently the UN engagement in Jammu and Kashmir is through the observer mission – UNMOGIP, the military observers whose mandate is primarily observing the ceasefire along the Line of Control. But there are serious questions about the human rights situation, the crimes being committed, the humanitarian situation and violations of international humanitarian law in IIOJK it being an occupied territory, we believe the United Nations should consider this seriously and take action to address these issues, through active monitoring and other means. And yes there are other examples of UN Protection Force with similar mandates.
Question: Sir now as the trust fund for Afghanistan has been operationalized the foreign Minister informed that Nigeria has made some contribution of around $ 10 lac to the fund. Sir earlier there was an announcement by Saudi Arabia was that contribution part of this fund? Has there any installment being made in different? (Nimra Sohail, PTV)
Answer: The Fund has been operationalized recently and it is up to the Member States how they would like to provide the assistance. The spirit of the December resolution and the establishment of the Fund was that the OIC members and others have a mechanism through which their assistance can be channelized. We expect that now that the Fund has been established, contributions would be forthcoming.
Question: The Chinese Foreign Minister also participated in the OIC Session, was there any discussion on the CPEC and on increasing the scope of CPEC/inclusion of the OIC members in the CPEC project?(Rashida Sial, Abb Takk TV)
Answer: You know first of all, because you mentioned the participation of the Chinese Foreign Minister, it is important to recognize the significance of his presence. Pakistan as the host, invited the Chinese Foreign Minister as a Special Guest. We think that there are many issues pertaining to peace and security, development and other spheres in which Pakistan, China and the Muslim world have converging interests and strong partnership. We consider that his participation was mutually beneficial, and it has been acknowledged. Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s address to the inaugural session of the Conference was well received. China has a lot to bring to the table to further enhance its cooperation with the OIC member states. In his statement, the Foreign Minister cited examples of concrete cooperation – if I remember correctly he mentioned that China has signed BRI cooperation documents with over 50 Islamic countries and launched projects worth 400 billion dollars. He also referred to cooperation under other development frameworks.
As for CPEC, naturally it was discussed in our bilateral interactions with the Chinese Foreign Minister, as he called on the President and the Prime Minister, besides the meeting with Foreign Minister Qureshi. This was reflective of the All Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between our two countries.
Question: Pertaining to Islamabad declaration, Para 11 particularly, that asks about seeking accountability of Israel as occupying state and seeking accountability on every international fora, particularly International Court of Justice (ICJ). So when we see declaration of OIC contact group in which countries/members of that contact group call upon international community to seek accountability of India and Indian occupation forces who are actually carrying out genocide in IIOJK. So it seems that OIC contact group is not seeking actually the International Criminal Court (ICC) or International Court of Justice (ICJ) platform to hold India accountable from that aspect. Whether Pakistan is considering any sort of proposal to place it before the OIC countries particularly in the next summit meeting? Will Pakistan itself go for any initiative regarding ICJ or ICC because the series of criminal activities going on in IIOJK, India must be held accountable? (Faisal Raza, 92 News)
Answer: From OIC’s perspective the important point to note is the strong political support that it brings on issues like Palestine and Kashmir. And while there are certain similarities in the two situations, there are different contexts as well. The need to consider various law-fare options is also there, and as you know there are various dimensions to it, that have to be looked into.
The question of accountability is important and we have consistently raised it at all relevant fora – this includes UN Security Council, the General Assembly, its various Committees, the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, Special Procedures, as you know are engaged with regard to human rights violations in IIOJK. So this has been agitated at various levels, at various forums. The 2018 and 2019 Kashmir Reports of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had called for independent commission of inquiry into human rights situation in IIOJK, but India refused to cooperate. There are other possibilities and you are aware that some steps have been taken recently such as the filing of this case by Stoke White in London on Indian war crimes in Kashmir, the proceedings of the Russell Tribunal on Kashmir, which was useful in raising awareness and creating grounds for further actions through legal means. All of this serves to keep the pressure on India and to keep advocating with the international community that they need to hold India accountable.
Question: Sir what is the update on the ‘accidental launch’ of missile by India and on Indian aggression? Was there any discussion on this issue? (Zahid Farooq Malik, Daily Metro Watch)
Answer: I have mentioned in my briefing and highlighted – there was an expectation that the incident will be taken up. As the incident took place on 9th March, so this was recent, and there was expectation that this issue will be brought up in this Session, and this we did and we did it successfully. This is one of the major achievements of this Conference that the OIC Foreign Ministers unanimously and with consensus adopted the resolution, which is a very strong one. Let me point out some of its main features. The CFM expressed serious concern on the 9 March 2022 incident which constituted multiple violations of international law, United Nations Charter, Articles on the Responsibility of States, civil aviation rules and safety protocols, and endangered human life and property besides posing a grave threat to regional and international peace, security and stability.
It strongly urged India to swiftly and positively respond to Pakistan’s call for a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident. It called upon India to fully abide by its international obligations, principles of the UN Charter and Articles on Responsibility of States. It stressed that the duty to protect dangerous arsenals and materials and systems related to WMDs, as well as to ensure nuclear security, is a strict liability obligation under international law.
The resolution called on the UN Secretary General and relevant international bodies, including United Nations Security Council and ICAO, to pursue, in line with their mandated duties, the matter with India to accurately establish the facts and to ensure that no such occurrence takes place in the future. It expressed full support for Pakistan’s consistent efforts and proposals for promoting peace and stability in South Asia. It exhorted the international community to take serious notice of this incident of grave nature in a nuclearized environment and play its role in upholding strategic stability in the region. It also urged India to work constructively with Pakistan for enhancing regional security and stability through the settlement of outstanding disputes and positively responding to Pakistan’s proposal for a Strategic Restraint Regime including measures for arms control, restraint and confidence building. The OIC Secretary General was requested to communicate the resolution to the Secretary General of the United Nations and to remain seized of the matter. So as you can see it is very significant and substantive.
Last modified: March 25, 2022
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