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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/20/21

A tale of two meetings on Afghanistan

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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Amid concerns over the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan Sunday hosted the 17th extraordinary session of the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The meeting was also attended by Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi alongside delegates from the United States, China, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

This time, too, India's Afghan diplomacy was in parallel. On Sunday Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar hosted a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan who are members of the OIC.

Tellingly, Sunday's meeting in Delhi follows the November 10 regional security dialogue on Afghanistan for which the NSAs of these countries were in Delhi along with those from Russia and Iran. The meeting was hosted by NSA Ajit Doval.

Incidentally, the same day, Islamabad was hosting special envoys from US, China and Russia to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

By hosting parallel meetings, perhaps India seeks to play a significant role in Afghanistan since it lost leverage in the Taliban ruled country after the US withdrawal in August last. It may be pointed out that during the US led war India had invested around three billion dollars in different projects in Afghanistan.

OIC nations pledge fund to prevent Afghanistan economic collapse

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Sunday pledged to set up a humanitarian trust fund for Afghanistan as millions face hunger and poverty. The crisis is causing alarm with billions of dollars in aid and assets frozen by the international community after the Taliban takeover of the country in August this year. An OIC resolution released after the meeting said the Islamic Development Bank would lead the effort to free up assistance by the first quarter of 2022.

The OIC resolutions also said:

Member States, the international community, including the United Nations, international organizations, and international financial institutions are urgently urged to use all possible and necessary rehabilitation, reconstruction, development, and financial assistance for Afghanistan as a policy tool. Continue to provide educational, technical and material support.

The meeting reaffirms the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan and ensures that Afghanistan's territory is not used by any extremist group or organization as a platform or safe haven.

The meeting also called on Afghanistan to take concrete steps against all terrorist organizations, especially Al Qaeda, ISIS and its affiliates, ETIM and TTP

The OIC Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Aid, Culture and Family Affairs Ambassador Tariq Ali Bakhit was appointed Special Representative of OIC Secretary General for Afghanistan.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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