Friday, 07 October 2022, 07:49:04 pm
FM urges UN, OIC to formulate action plan to halt Islamophobia
September 23, 2022

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has urged the United Nations and OIC to formulate an action plan to halt and reverse Islamophobia.

Chairing the Annual Coordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in New York, he stressed the Islamic world that it must evolve collective and concerted responses to the political, economic, climate and other challenges contracting the modern world.

He said today, Islamophobia is manifested in the negative profiling of Muslims, stigmatization, deliberate vandalization of Islamic symbols and holy sites, killings by cow vigilantes, discriminatory laws and policies, ban on the Hijab, attacks on mosques, and anti-Muslim migration policies.

The worst manifestation of such Islamophobia is in Hindutva-inspired India. Driven by the ideology of hate against Muslims, the BJP-RSS regime is executing its century-old plan to transform India into an exclusive Hindu State. We are particularly alarmed by the recent calls by extremist groups for genocide against India's Muslims. 

He said the Covid-19 pandemic, rising commodity prices, climate change and a contracting world economy, have halted progress towards Sustainable Development Goals in the developing world and, as a result intensified inequality within and among States, including many Islamic countries.

He said the Islamic countries must carefully respond to these emerging realities and ensure that their vital interests are fully protected.

The Foreign Minister said Kashmir is also our common cause. Jammu & Kashmir was forcibly occupied by India. The Security Council decided that the people of Jammu and Kashmir must be enabled to exercise their recognized right to self-determination through the UN-supervised plebiscite. India has resiled from its commitment to implement the resolutions of the Security Council and respect the wishes of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

He said since 5 August 2019, India has taken unilateral and illegal measures to undermine the internally recognized 'disputed' status of Jammu and Kashmir. It has increased its military deployments there to 900,000 troops and resorted to a brutal campaign of repression, including extra-judicial and custodial killing of Kashmiris; abduction of 15,000 young Kashmiri boys, many of whom were tortured; incarceration of the entire Kashmiri leadership, and the burning of villages and neighborhoods as collective punishment.

He said this campaign of oppression is turbo-charged by the ideology of Hindutva and hatred of Muslims. Pakistan will continue to extend its full political, diplomatic and moral support to their freedom struggle.

He said Pakistan desires peace with India. Yet, it is evident that unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved, there will be no durable peace between Pakistan and India. We are prepared to resume a sincere dialogue with India for a peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. However, the onus is on India to create a conducive environment for such a dialogue.

The oppressed people of occupied Jammu & Kashmir, now more than ever, rely on the OIC and the Muslim Ummah to uphold their just cause for self- determination and freedom from Indian rule.

He said Palestine is our common cause and must not forget that the raison d'étre of the OIC was to promote peace and justice for the people of Occupied Palestine and to free Al Quds al Sharif. We must secure self-determination for our brothers and sisters in Palestine.They must have their own State, with pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds-al-Sharif as the capital of a free Palestinian State. Pakistan remains steadfast in supporting the Palestinian cause.

Regarding Afghanistan he said after forty years, there is a real opportunity to restore durable peace and security in Afghanistan and the region. Today, there is no civil war. One government controls the entire country.

We must build on this progress and prevent those forces who wish to revive conflict, create more refugees and intensify the threat of terrorism.

He said that we agreed that the OIC can and must play a leading role in supporting the people of Afghanistan.

He said that during the current UN General Assembly session, the OIC countries must work with other developing countries to address the triple challenge of recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic; achievement of the SDGs and the existential threat of climate change.

As the recent catastrophic floods in Pakistan have so tragically illustrated, Climate change poses an existential threat to humanity. Pakistan is impacted by global impacts of climate change. Despite our rather negligible emission contribution, Pakistan is today the "ground zero" of the impact of climate change.

He said that 57-member OIC is the largest intergovernmental Organization after the United Nations. At this inflection point in history, we confront multiple challenges. But there are also new opportunities for the OIC to seize and play a major role in shaping the content and structures of the emerging era. Pakistan will work with all OIC Member States to mobilize our collective endeavors to this end.