ISLAMABAD - Considering divergent positions taken by Arabs and Islamic Republic of Iran over the situation in Syria, Pakistan is cautiously preparing for the extraordinary OIC meeting summoned by Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh on August 14-15 to take stock of challenges confronting the Muslims.
Pakistan being an important OIC member has yet to unfold the options in case the 57-member Muslim countries organisation takes up Syria on its agenda. “Pakistan will present its proposals during the OIC conference that is currently busy finalising its agenda for the meeting,” Foreign Office spokesman Muazzam A Khan told TheNation on Monday.
Khan was of the view that there was enough time for Pakistan to present its proposals as the OIC foreign ministers had yet come up with a consensus draft of the would be ‘Declaration’.
He dismissed the notion that Pakistan was perhaps shying away from making its proposals public, adding that there was a standard working procedure and Islamabad would play its due role as important member.
“It is still not confirmed whether situation in Syria is taken up as formal agenda item of the extraordinary OIC meeting.” Khan added.
The spokesman further said Pakistan had supported the initiative of UN peace broker Kofi Annan for peaceful resolution of the crises in Syria.
“Pakistan wants territorial integrity of Syria and is seeking peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue,” spokesman maintained. President Asif Ali Zardari has already consented to attend the crucial OIC meeting along with the foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar and other senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile, veteran Pakistan diplomats have called upon the government to use its all resources in ensuring unity among the Muslims over the question of Syria. “Pakistan should make all out efforts to evolve broad-based consensus among the OIC members to ensure stability in Syria,” former secretary general foreign affairs Akram Zaki told The Nation. He was of the view that issue of Syria has become a complex challenge as the West and other major world powers already stand divided and so is case with the Arab League. It was therefore in the prime interest of Muslims to handle the situation carefully to avoid any split in the OIC.
Pakistan has recently abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution that was vetoed by Russia and China, which consequently forced UN peace broker Kofi Annan to resign. Sources were of the view that efforts were underway to install a new government in Syria which they believed would lead to further instability in the entire region and eventually other Muslim counties might face the same fate.