Experts urge world to urgently open humanitarian aid to Afghanistan

Zubair Qureshi

Speaking at a regional webinar on Saturday, a panel of distinguished experts from different countries regretted that the Organization of the Islamic Countries (OIC) Foreign Ministers did not come up with a clear and proactive action agenda on Afghanistan to help its people in crisis.

However, they mentioned that the 17th extraordinary session of the OIC had driven the global focus to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan which was something one can rejoice at.

The UN Security Council has adopted the aid resolution after the OIC session they observed.

Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) and DTN had jointly organized the webinar on the subject “Afghanistan post-OIC conference in Islamabad”.

The panel of experts included former ISI chief Lt General (Retd) Muhammad Asad Durrani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to China Naghmana Hashmi, India’s former ambassador to Afghanistan Rakesh Sood, Iran’s former ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Masha Allah Shakri, Afghanistan’s former senior deputy minister for strategy and policy coordination Abdullah Khenjani, Centre for China and Globalisation Research Fellow Zooh Ahmed Khan, and Dr. Somaye Morovati, Head of South Asia and Afghanistan at Tehran International Studies and Research Institute (TISRI).

They urged the western media to take up the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as a trending story to kick off immediate supply of food, medicines, and winter shelter kits for common people. They urged the US government to immediately unfreeze Afghanistan’s financial assets to ease the situation.

Lt General Asad Durrani said the OIC has proved to be good for nothing once again. No immediate action plan and pledges for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan were seen. However, the conference has diverted the global attention to the war-torn country assets of which are frozen by the US. We shall not wait for the banking channels to open. Let the non-state actors act upon as early as possible through a well-defined and monitored process to support the humanitarian aid. We knew ten years back that it would happen after the withdrawal of the US and NATO troops from Afghanistan. But intentionally never thought of any post-withdrawal plans. He said Pakistan would be the biggest loser if it could not play its due role in Afghanistan at the time of crisis.

This is unfortunate that Muslim world is yet to come up with any joint action plan to combat the humanitarian crisis beyond the political differences with Taliban. Ambassador Naghmana Hashmi appreciated Pakistan’s role in organizing the OIC foreign ministers conference that could attract the world focus to Afghanistan.

Pakistan has always been active on the Afghanistan issue, supporting it more silently and with pro-Afghanistan diplomacy. She said China has good relations with Afghanistan whatever the government was there in Kabul. Never interfered in the internal politics, and kept on infrastructure development and economic interventions.

China is expected to come forward to more infrastructural development and support to the education and health sectors.


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