MAKKAH: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday called on the Islamic world to fight Islamophobia in the West and 'stand against oppression' of the Muslims in Kashmir, Palestine and elsewhere, and address the issue of lack of quality education among the Muslim countries.
Addressing the 14th OIC Summit in Makkah, Imran stressed the need for separating Islam from terrorism and urged the 57-member bloc of Islamic states to play an effective role in safeguarding the rights of Muslims and their religious sentiments.
"The Western world has equated radical Islam with terrorism and this has done tremendous amount of disservice to the Muslim world. It has led to Islamophobia; the words radical Islam have been used to define terrorism," the prime minister told the summit.
PM Imran Khan to attend OIC Summit in Makkah on Friday
Terming the phenomena of blasphemy and Islamophobia in the West as a failure of the OIC, he said the organisation's inability has also led to legitimising the Muslim political freedom struggles which were termed as 'Islamic radicalism'.
"The Muslim world must use the platform of OIC to de-link terrorism with Islam," he told the heads of state and government from the Muslim countries, adding that OIC must play an effective role in safeguarding the rights of Muslims and their religious sentiments.
The prime minister raised the issues of Kashmir and Palestine, and condemned the propaganda of equating the freedom struggles with terrorism. He urged the OIC to stand against the oppression of Muslims.
Israel started oppressing the Palestinians, calling their freedom movement as 'Islamic terrorism', he said. There is no other solution but the two-state solution with Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, he added. "The annexation of Golan Heights must end," he said.
Similarly, he said the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) had been carrying out a political struggle for freedom but after 9/11 [attacks in the US in 2001], their movement had also been dubbed as "Islamic radicalism and terrorism".
The people of IOK have not been given their right to self-determination, which was guaranteed in the UN Security Council's resolutions, he said, adding: "The OIC must stand against oppression happening with the Muslim world."
He also underscored the importance quality education in the Muslim world. "This is the area in which the Muslim world lags. I fear the Muslim world may be left behind again and this is the best forum to raise this concern," he said.
On the sidelines of the summit, Prime Minister Khan on Saturday met Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and President Sefik Dzaferovic of Bosnia and discussed with them the matters of bilateral interest.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's House, Crown Prince Muhammad and Prime Minister Khan exchanged views on the current state of bilateral, political, economic and trade relations.
Khan expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia for extending oil facility to Pakistan against deferred payments, saying the gesture was a timely support. "The brotherly gesture of the Kingdom provided timely support to the economy of Pakistan at a crucial juncture," the prime minister said.
They agreed to expedite the implementation of the decisions taken during the visit of the crown prince to Pakistan in February and the first meeting of the Supreme Coordination Council. They agreed to regularly exchange views on all issues of mutual interest.
In separate meeting, Prime Minister Khan and President Dzaferovic discussed issues of mutual interest and stressed the need for high-level political exchanges between the two countries. They agreed to work towards closer cooperation in the spheres of trade, economy and culture.
The two leaders stressed the need for close collaboration among the Muslim states to effectively address their common challenges. Khan underlined the importance, Pakistan attached to its fraternal ties with Bosnia and expressed the desire to enhance the bilateral cooperation.
President Dzaferovic expressed his nation's affection for the people of Pakistan and affirmed the desire to further strengthen bilateral relations in diverse fields. The two sides decided to work out specific steps in this regard in coming months. agencies
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