THE Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has finally moved to hold a consultative session to discuss the prevailing situation in Afghanistan and firm up its strategy to help the country deal with the fast brewing humanitarian crisis.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), in its capacity as Chairman of the OIC summit, has requisitioned the special meeting and Pakistan, on Monday, offered to host it in Islamabad on 17 December.
Afghanistan, one of the member countries of the OIC, is passing through testing times because of its huge economic and financial challenges, triggered by the hostile attitude of most of the countries of the world towards political changes in the country, and it is, indeed, responsibility of the organization to not just express solidarity with people of Afghanistan but also help formulate member countries individual and joint policies to help ease out the deteriorating situation.
Luckily, the OIC member states have the required resources and expertise to contribute towards the noble mission of preventing a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan and, hopefully, the moot would come out with a concrete action plan in this regard.
According to UN envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons, Afghanistan was “on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe” as nearly 60 per cent of Afghanistan’s 38 million population was facing extreme hunger.
According to independent reports, there weas a critical shortage of food, medicines and essential supplies and the winter has exacerbated the situation further.
If no timely response to the grave situation was given by the international community, there are genuine apprehensions of the country plunging into yet another vicious cycle of insecurity and instability with consequences for the region and beyond.
The KSA deserves appreciation for convening the much-needed meeting of the OIC as this is reflective of Riyadh’s concern over the evolving situation and its commitment to extend meaningful assistance to Afghanistan in a timely manner.
Pakistan, being immediate neighbour of Afghanistan, is in the forefront of relief efforts and apart from providing essential items, it has offered its air and land routes as well as access to its markets to the international donors.
As the country has the exhaustive knowledge and information on ground situation in Afghanistan, it is hoped that a comprehensive report on the nature of the crisis and the required steps would be presented to the OIC in close coordination with the Afghan government and Saudi Arabia.
Decisions at state level normally take cumbersome time to implement and with this in view it would be appreciable if time-bound commitments are made by the member countries of the OIC.
OIC may also consider assistance for Afghanistan for institutions building, which is a prerequisite for stability in the war-torn country.