PM at OIC summit asks Muslim to shed differences

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Wednesday said a sovereign homeland for the Palestinian people with Jerusalem as its capital remained the only road map for the Muslim community and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

He was speaking at an extraordinary OIC summit, called by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul to discuss the recent decision by the US administration to shift the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“We are at the watershed moment again. The question on every Muslim mind today would be whether we can rise above our differences, stand united and give hope to our people, or once again adopt declarations which cannot be translated into effective actions,” the prime minister said.

He said the US decision was a “blatant attempt to set in motion steps to change the historic and lawful status” of Jerusalem. He said Pakistan urged the United States to rescind, fully comply with all applicable UN Security Council resolutions and recommit unequivocally to the two-state solution.

“On behalf of the people and Government of Pakistan, I wish to reiterate our strong condemnation of this decision,” he said and added that the international community had the opportunity to uphold the principles of justice and the rule of law.

He said Pakistan called upon the UN Security Council to play its role as envisaged under the UN charter as its credibility would be questioned if it did not live up to its primary role in maintaining international peace and security.

Earlier, Istanbul Mayor Mevlut Uysal held a quick meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif before the OIC meeting started.

It is pertinent to note here that the mayor held this special meeting  with the chief minister to discuss matters of mutual cooperation and bilateral relations. More importantly, both leaders strongly condemned US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The mayor acknowledged the presence of the Pakistani delegation in Turkey to attend the OIC summit in these words: “Today your presence here in Istanbul means that we all brothers [Muslim leaders] are united on the issue of Jerusalem”, said the Mayor of Istanbul during his meeting with the CM.”

Just before the summit started off, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif along with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqaan Abbasi exchanged views over the importance of holding the emergency OIC meeting in which 48 countries are representing the demands and concerns of the Muslim world.

They were warmly greeted and welcomed by Turkish President Erdogan. The chief minister also acknowledged the role of President Erdogan in calling for this quick OIC meeting for sending a strong message of unity of the Muslim Ummah when it was most needed. Not to forget, Shahbaz has had successful meetings with the President Erdogan in the past as well on different occasions.

The Pakistani delegation also met Palestinian President Mehmoud Abbas – a very important and notable quick meet up indeed. Light was shed on the pertinent Palestine issue. It was reassured that the whole Muslim Ummah is united against Trump’s decision and that Pakistan strongly condemns it at all levels.

Pakistan’s representation at the OIC can be termed praiseworthy. Following these important meetings of Prime Minister Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz, it is paramount to understand that this promotes future communication when it comes to catering to the problems faced by the Muslim Ummah with unity. Pakistan’s representation being praised and acknowledged in Istanbul further accredits the unique stability of character and the poised leadership that is representing Pakistan at the extraordinary OIC summit.

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