Imran Khan addresses the OIC before the start of 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad on Tuesday. AFP
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday urged foreign ministers from Muslim-majority nations to help end Russia's war in Ukraine, appealing also to China's top diplomat to join the effort.
Imran spoke at the start of a two-day gathering in Islamabad of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which for the first time saw the attendance of China's foreign minister, Wang Yi, as a special guest.
The war in Ukraine "could have great consequences for the world,” Imran warned and added that the rest of the planet is "already suffering," with surging prices of oil, gas and wheat from a region known as the breadbasket of the world. He urged the ministers to "mediate, try to bring about a ceasefire and an end to the conflict."
In his speech at the conference, the Chinese foreign minister said China supports Russia and Ukraine continuing peace talks for the sake of a ceasefire, an end to the war and peace.
Imran Khan (front 5L) poses with foreign ministers and their representatives of the OIC Council of FMs in Islamabad. AFP
"We need to prevent humanitarian disasters and prevent the spillover of the Ukrainian crisis from affecting or harming the legitimate rights and interests of other regions and countries," he said.
Wang said after the outbreak of coronavirus, Beijing provided 1.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines and a large amount of supplies to fight the virus to 50 Islamic countries. Later, Wang met Imran, according to a government statement.
It said the "two sides discussed the situation in Ukraine and reiterated the imperative need for an immediate cessation of hostilities and continued efforts for a solution through sustained dialogue and diplomacy."
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met separately with his Chinese counterpart, the ministry said. The two "discussed the situation in Ukraine and reiterated the need for a solution through sustained dialogue and diplomacy," the ministry said.
Imran also reiterated his plea for the international community to help neighbouring Afghanistan, which has been struggling with an economic meltdown and severe shortages of food and medicines since the Taliban takeover in mid-August.
"A stable Afghanistan is the only way that we are going to tackle international terrorism from Afghan soil," said Imran. "It is extremely important that we help the people of Afghanistan."
Imran Khan addresses the OIC in Islamabad. AFP
Imran denied the existence of a radical version of Islam, saying there was only one kind of Islam that was preached by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Addressing the 48th session of the OIC, he said the narrative of ‘Islamic terrorism’ went on unchecked after the 9/11 attacks.
"We, the Muslim countries, did not do anything to stop this narrative,” he said, adding that the heads of Muslim states should have taken a stand on this issue but they "instead a lot of them kept saying things like we are moderate.”
"This meant that they were acknowledging that there was a radical version of Islam. There is only one Islam that is of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH),” he said, adding that there were fanatics in every human community but only Islam was singled out by the use of such terms.
The prime minister began his speech by congratulating the Muslim world for the recent adoption of a resolution against Islamophobia by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), that proclaims March 15 as International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
He said the world was now realising that Islamophobia was a reality and more needed to be done to combat it.
"Why was Islam equated with terrorism?" Imran questioned, and referred to the Christchurch attack on a mosque as a consequence of this stereotyping. "Once that happens, how is the man in the street in Western countries, how is he supposed to differentiate between a moderate Muslim and a radical Muslim? Hence, this man walks into a mosque and shoots everyone he could."
In advance of the talks, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan bluntly warned China to avoid helping Russia evade punishment from global sanctions that have hammered the Russian economy. "We will not allow that to go forward,” he said.
China in 2013 pledged to provide Ukraine with "security guarantees" if it is ever invaded or threatened with nuclear attack, but appeared evasive on the same issue in the wake of Russia's attack.
At a virtual summit, European Council President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sought signs from Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang that Beijing would help to end the war in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters on Friday after attending a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan, Putin said the "liberation” of Ukraine's entire eastern Donbas region remained Russia’s main military goal and that he sees no need to revise it.
Rescuers clapped and cheered as the toddler, the daughter of migrant workers from Myanmar, was pulled out of the 15-metre (49-foot) -deep well shaft and placed on an a stretcher that carried her to a waiting ambulance.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid said, “We also announce within the federal ministerial reshuffle the appointment of Salem Bin Khalid Al Qasimi as Minister of Culture and Youth in the country.
The ban drew criticism and many Islamabad’s action, saying it was a blow to digital rights and deprived the public of the right to seek knowledge.