Reinvigorating the OIC | By Zaheer Bhatti


Reinvigorating the OIC

LEADERSHIP throughout Pakistan’s checkered history be it civil or military, soon after the premature departure of its founding father; has prospered at the cost of the people, and the State instrument which it has mercilessly weakened in the process being the main casualty with its mission of justice and equity obscured, its economy in tatters and at the mercy of international money-lenders calling the tune, and its institutions meant to deliver the same, in total disarray.

The story is not much different in rest of the Islamic world.As Muslim nations regrouped and assembled under the banner of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation established in 1969 at the initiative of Saudi Arabia and Morocco with its Secretariat in Jeddah, following the criminal arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem, the OIC was designed to protect the vital interests of Islamic nations and safeguard the true values of Islam.

Sadly, over 51 years since, barring a couple of animated congregations of nations; 24 to start with which attended its first Summit in Rabat, Morocco, whereas its membership stands at 57 today, the Organization which is the second largest after the United Nations, has failed to live up to its stated ideals in practical terms.

Pakistan which happens to be among its founding members and has an Islamic Summit of the Body in 1974 to its credit with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto hosting towering personalities of the Islamic world under the spiritual leadership of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, has only recently brought 30 odd member nations of the OIC together in an extraordinary session of its Foreign Ministers with a single item focus on Afghanistan.

Once again the recent meeting in Pakistan on Saudi initiative rallied financial support for the Afghan nation facing an economic meltdown in the aftermath of the second US abandonment of the country, which it used as a war theatre for four decades.

The meeting created a ‘Humanitarian Trust Fund’ under the aegis of the Islamic Development Bank, which prompted the UN Security Council to adopt a Resolution calling upon the global community for urgent financial support to the people of Afghanistan.

Barring these few moments of some awakening and concern shown by the Muslim Polity, the rest of their term has been a dismal lack of concern and apathy leave alone initiative towards resolution of any problems of the Islamic World by making its collective voice heard and attended to, while the United Nations has kept rubber-stamping economic sanctions and military action against one Muslim Nation after another at the call of its imperial caretakers; illegal occupation of Arab territories, declaration of disputed Jerusalem as its Capital and creation of Jew settlements in areas occupied by Israel in 1967, non-recognition of a Palestinian State and division of Sudan, Indonesia and Pakistan; in contemptuous disregard of the UN Security Council Resolutions mandating a plebiscite in Kashmir under its auspices to determine the future of Kashmiris, and establishment of a Palestinian State comprising the West Bank and the Gaza Strip occupied by Israel.

Illegal annexation of occupied territories by India and Israel instead; blatantly effecting demographic changes, carrying out arson, torture, killings, rape and abductions in those territories, and religious cleansing not just within Kashmir but also openly demanding elimination of Muslims from India and harassing Muslim women wearing Hijab by the ruling party BJP’s RSS goons, are some of the scores of degraded ploys being resorted to by these fascist regimes, to which world conscience is asleep.

The Muslim world under the flagship of the OIC has not just looked on haplessly but some of its important entities surrendering their sovereignty and security have invariably called the tune of their Imperial Masters in global affairs; largely to the detriment of the Islamic world.

They have chosen to follow their demi-gods on earth in preference to the faith passed on to them by Providence; and hence meeting their nemesis.

All divinely revealed testaments; the Holy Quran being the last of them having clearly pointed to this adversity and the horrific end awaiting such entities, but the Muslim world appears to be totally unmindful.

Pakistan has traversed ungainly territory all along its existence except for the 1965 War effort against India, an Islamic Summit in 1974 and attaining nuclear deterrence in 1998.

Its journey by and large barring these events, has been downhill; making compromises and abandoning its reason for being and becoming hostage to infiltrated alien ‘isms’ and social orders, and paying heavily as a consequence.

With all the riches of the universe bestowed upon Islamic territories, it is a pity that their leadership has failed to grasp the opportunity provided by Providence, and allowed their oil discoveries to be controlled and siphoned off by imperial powers which are out to divest Pakistan and Iran of their nuclear potential by crippling their economies.

Had the Muslim world realized their inherent strength and pooled their resources, instead of getting to each other’s throat at the instigation of alien powers, they would today have been a formidable block which no evil eye could harm.

Pakistan’s recent initiative under the OIC banner calling for humanitarian aid to the war-torn Afghan brethren has evoked a response which indicates that all is not lost, and that if the OIC can be brought back to life to further the righteous causes around the globe regardless of their location, they could collectively defeat all evil forces and serve as the beacon of light for peace and prosperity for the entire mankind.

With Pakistan hosting the next session of the OIC Foreign Ministers on 22-23rd March coinciding with the Pakistan Day Parade which coincidentally, will be graced by all the Foreign Ministers attending, an impassioned plea principally to Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey and to the rest of the Islamic world in general, would be to shun differences, engage in a sincere and accommodating embrace and free themselves from the clutches of those alien forces which exploit their differences and dictate them.

Mahatir Mohammad of late, in the context of Kashmir; calling for compliance with the UNSC Resolution of a plebiscite in Kashmir and ignoring Indian reaction boycotting its Palm oil, is an example to emulate, as your provider is none else but the one and only.

One sincerely hopes that the Ummah would not miss this opportunity to hammer home its lingering righteous causes to the rest of the world.

This appeal is also meant to reach those misguided religious entities such as Al-Qaeda, Daesh, ISIS, TTP etc, to beware of being used and funded by alien powers against the Islamic world, providing them hardware for death and destruction to cause instability and strife in the guise of enforcing Shariah in Islamic countries.

—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran ex Director Programmes.


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