Pakistan PM will stress need for solidarity, unity at OIC Makkah summit

Pakistan PM will stress need for solidarity, unity at OIC Makkah summit
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will stress the need for solidarity and unity at a summit in Makkah on May 30. (File/AP)
Updated 29 May 2019

Pakistan PM will stress need for solidarity, unity at OIC Makkah summit

Pakistan PM will stress need for solidarity, unity at OIC Makkah summit
  • King Salman invited 57 OIC member states to the Makkah summit
  • The OIC has backed Pakistan in Kashmir dispute

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will stress the need for solidarity and unity at a summit in Makkah this week, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has invited 57 member states from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to attend the summit which seeks to provide “a valuable platform to exchange views and deliberate on a range of political, economic and security issues of interest to Islamic countries,” the ministry said.
The OIC has backed Pakistan in its dispute with India over the Kashmir region, which both countries govern in part but claim in full.
“The prime minister will ... focus on the imperatives of solidarity and unity in the Ummah, support for Muslim causes including Jammu and Kashmir, countering growing Islamophobia, and ensuring educational and scientific excellence. As one of its founding members, Pakistan has played a key role in advancing a range of Muslim causes, in efforts to revitalize the organization,” the statement added.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who arrived in Jeddah on Tuesday, is taking part in the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers meeting to finalize the agenda ahead of the leaders’ session in Makkah.
Qureshi earlier told reporters that the OIC summit was of immense significance as Pakistan would discuss the current situation in the Middle East.
“We will present our point of view regarding the challenges faced by the Muslim Ummah,” he added.
Qamar Cheema, an Islamabad-based analyst, said Saudi Arabia had a pivotal role in making the OIC a constructive forum for addressing the grievances of the global Muslim community.
“For making the OIC vibrant,  Saudi Arabia and other concerned states need to initiate fresh dialogue to resolve bilateral disputes among states and to develop a unified stance of global issues of mutual importance,” Cheema told Arab News.
Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, from the Islamabad-based think tank the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, said Pakistan needed to take this summit as an opportunity to advocate closer trade and investment integration across Islamic countries.
“Perhaps a preferential trade arrangement should be discussed.  This will also help create cross-border value chains and help contribute to inclusive growth and job creation,” Ahmed told Arab News.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the OIC’s establishment.
It is the second largest multilateral organization after the United Nations, encompassing a quarter of humanity and a cumulative gross domestic product of $19.4 trillion.