President Asif Ali Zardari will attend an extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) scheduled to take place next month in the Saudi city of Makkah.
The summit, to be attended by leaders from the Islamic countries, is being convened on the suggestion of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz to discuss the current situation facing the Muslim world.
A Foreign Office official confirmed on Friday that President Zardari will represent Pakistan at the gathering on August 14 and 15. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and senior officials will accompany the president, the official added.
Zardari is expected to brief the leaders from the Islamic world on Pakistan’s recent decision to lift the seven-month old ban on Nato supplies passing through the country. He will also talk about Pakistan’s efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
This will be the fourth such extraordinary summit of the OIC and it comes at a time when Muslim countries are facing many challenges, including the current situation in Syria, recent killings of Muslims in Myanmar and conflict in Afghanistan.
According to the statement issued by the OIC secretariat in Jeddah, the Saudi monarch has asked for the special session of the OIC to examine the situation in many countries of the Islamic world, and to intensify efforts to confront this situation.
The OIC is the world’s second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations.
According to the organisation, it is the collective voice of the Muslim world which works to safeguard the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various peoples of the world.
However, given the organisation’s track record and differences amongst several of its members, very few people expect any major developments when the summit takes place in the holy month of Ramazan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2012.