Qurat ul Ain
Pakistan is going to host the OIC Summit on 22-23rd March 2022 under the theme of ‘Partnering for Unity, Justice and Development’. After hosting 17th extraordinary summit of OIC in Islamabad on 19th December 2021, Pakistan has earned a respectable status in the comity of states. Muslims World lauded Pakistan’s effort to help financially constrained people of Afghanistan.
The theme itself asserts its relevance in the given circumstances where the Muslim world is under constant pressures. Foreign minister of Pakistan shared that the Summit will cover the Kashmir issue, Palestine issue, Islamophobia and raging religious intolerance of Hindutva under the Modi government.
Islamophobia was highlighted during the 17th extraordinary session of OIC too. The Muslim community has been under a cloud in different parts of the West. In such hard times, the Resolution adopted by UNGA against Islamophobia ahead of the OIC summit is a landmark decision of the United Nations and a sigh of relief. The Muslims all over the world are facing negative stereotyping, discrimination, hatred and violence. Pakistan has time and again highlighted this issue at international forums and the Prime Minister of Pakistan has specially been vocal about Islamophobia.
The resolution will help to gel and reinforce 1.5 billion Muslims across the globe who had been traumatised due to resurgence of Islamophobic attacks in the West. Who can forget March 15 when 51 innocent Muslims were massacred at Christchurch in New Zealand. World has also witnessed the attacks on the Muslims in Canada, Europe and America. Placing Islamophobia as principle agenda item of the OIC Summit has earned Pakistan a great deal of respect and kudos from the Muslim community.
Islamic World has realised Pakistan’s potential after hosting an extraordinary summit on Afghanistan, adoption of a resolution at UNGA and now hosting the OIC summit. Indeed Pakistan has proven its worth and role as a leader of the Muslim world. Muslim countries need dire attention in areas of mutual cooperation, economic development and scientific research.
Foreign Minister’s announcement of putting the Kashmir issue on the agenda of OIC is heartening news.in this regard, OIC has already set up a Contact Group for implementations of UN Kashmir resolutions. After taking the lead in UNGA, Pakistan should use the forum OIC to push India for the implementation of UN resolutions and ensure the right of plebiscite to Kashmiris. The Palestine issue also receives the warmth of Pakistan at every forum. Pakistan has never allowed the Palestine issue to pale before the Kashmir issue. Pakistan has always voiced its concerns vehemently on abuses of human rights in Palestine. Putting this issue on agenda for the OIC session is also a prudent decision of Pakistan. Along with these longstanding political issues, OIC also needs to prepare the Muslim world for upcoming challenges of fast changing world. Rise of technology has transformed the world.
Tech giants and conglomerates are deciding the future directions of states. Fast paced technological innovations have helped developed nations become powerful and influential to dictate the global market. Prime Minister of Pakistan at the occasion of J-10C induction ceremony in Kamra Airbase reiterated the need to develop indigenous technologies and establish technology university for future needs.
He also mentioned that Pakistan has produced quality professionals in every field. Unfortunately we could not provide them better operational and working facilities which forced them to settle abroad. Such talent can come back to help Pakistan if we guarantee an efficient system to them.
OIC summit is an ideal opportunity for Pakistan to raise this issue and push the Muslim world to realise future needs and challenges. Youth of the Muslim world seems dissatisfied as OIC has never paid enough heed to the challenges being faced by them.
The OIC summit should focus on promoting science and research; it shall ultimately ensure a promising future for the young population. Lastly, social media’s importance shouldn’t be neglected as now social media has become ubiquitous and an integral part of daily lives. To counter negative stereotyping of Muslims, psychological warfare, propaganda and for fact checking and promotion of narratives mutual Social Media networking policies may be formulated.