ISLAMABAD – Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said here on Sunday that if the world does not come to the help of Afghanistan, it will unfold a big man-made crisis. Delivering a keynote speech at the 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Islamabad to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, Khan said the world should not abandon Afghanistan in the hour of need.
“Even before Aug. 15, half of the population (in Afghanistan) was below the poverty line … 75 percent of the budget was supported by the foreign aid. After Aug. 15, if the foreign aid dries up, foreign reserves get frozen, banking system freezes, any country is going to collapse, let alone Afghanistan which has suffered conflicts for years,” he added.
The Taliban took over Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, on Aug. 15. “We must understand that when we talk about human rights, every society is different. The idea of human rights and women’s rights is different in every society,” Khan said, adding that the Afghan caretaker government has promised to comply with the preconditions of human rights, women’s rights and curbing terrorism.
The Pakistani prime minister said the Afghan government could not pay salaries to public servants, doctors and nurses. “Chaos suits no one. It certainly doesn’t suit the United States. There is a potential risk of international terrorism from organizations like IS (Islamic State). The only way to deal with it is with a stable Afghan government,” he added.
Speaking at the session, Secretary-General of the OIC Hissein Brahim Taha reiterated that the OIC stands for the sovereignty of Afghanistan as well as regional security. He said the organization proactively mobilized global opinion about helping Afghanistan and also established its mission in Afghanistan to stem the spread of COVID-19. He added the international community ought to mainstream Afghanistan in the world through unequivocal support to deny room for terrorists.
In his address to the session, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi presented a six-point proposal to avert the crisis in Afghanistan. The minister suggested mobilization of investment to Afghanistan, and formation of a focus group for finding solutions to its financial challenges.
He also called for a substitute to the banking system in Afghanistan besides investing in capacity building of the Afghan government to fight terrorism and narcotics trade. Qureshi said world food agencies are apprehensive of a brewing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the world should lend a hand to avert food shortage in Afghanistan.
He added that over half of the population in Afghanistan is facing a food shortage, and children are dying of malnutrition, urging the world to rise above all considerations and help the country on an urgent basis.