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

  • 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.


Sunsilk’s Color Run returns to Riyadh

‘The Happiest 5k on the Planet’ is set to turn Riyadh colorful on Oct. 26. (Photos/Supplied)
Updated 59 min 16 sec ago

Sunsilk’s Color Run returns to Riyadh

  • The General Entertainment Authority is bringing The Color Run back to the Kingdom following the success of the Alkhobar event

RIYADH: The Color Run presented by Sunsilk is returning to Saudi Arabia! The countdown to “The Happiest 5k on the Planet” is on, with The Color Run bursting onto the streets of Riyadh on Oct. 26.
The event is part of the GEA’s efforts to attract top entertainment to Saudi Arabia. The Color Run — now the largest running series in the world — will be making its vibrant return to the Kingdom’s two biggest cities, with over 15,000 expected to participate in each location.
The Riyadh event follows the Kingdom’s extremely popular inaugural Color Run, which took place in Alkhobar in March and saw over 10,000 people run, jog, walk and skip their way along the 5 km course.
To date, The Color Run has been hosted in more than 40 countries with over 7 million runners participating in the event. It is untimed and sees thousands of participants covered from head to toe in an array of different colors throughout the course before collecting their medals at the finish line. The only rule is that those taking part must cross the finish line covered in color and have fun while doing it!
The non-competitive run is not only an opportunity to create perfect memories — and Instagram posts — but also serves as a celebration of health, happiness and individuality. The GEA, a core pillar under the Saudi government, is supporting the event as part of its continued efforts to enrich the lifestyle of residents as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans and in line with the nation’s Quality of Life Program 2020.
The first of the upcoming events will be hosted as part of Riyadh Season, considered to be the biggest entertainment event in the capital city, with activities catering to sports, music, theater, fashion and much more.
Ahmed Al-Mehmadi, executive director of communications at the GEA said: “We are thrilled to be bringing The Color Run presented by Sunsilk to Riyadh. We witnessed an incredible turnout in Alkhobar and we have every confidence this event will attract even more people who want to engage in a healthy activity that combines fun and exercise. Its vibrancy matches the aims of the GEA and the Quality of Life Program 2020 objectives to support and create new options that boost participation across cultural, entertainment and sports activities.”
Kristen Biegler, spokesperson for The Color Run said: “Since its inception in 2012, The Color Run has had become a global phenomenon, and we are very excited to be returning to Saudi Arabia. The response in Alkhobar was truly amazing and we are extremely excited to bring ‘The Happiest 5k on the Planet’ to Riyadh. Our top rule is that everyone has fun — it is up to you whether you run, jog, walk or even skip your way to the finish line.”
Once the 5 km is over, the fun will continue at the Finish Festival, a larger-than-life celebration equipped with music, dance-offs, fun and games and massive color throws, which create millions of vivid color combinations!