Helping Afghanistan

Helping Afghanistan


Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the ISI Secretariat. Federal Ministers and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa were also present on the occasion. The Prime Minister was briefed on the critical situation in Afghanistan where a significant part of its population is confronting threat of hunger amidst winter conditions. National exchequer is virtually empty and consequently not able to support any relief measures. Afghanistan had been in war zone for last forty years. The war and bloodshed has left millions dead and the rest paralyzed by hunger and disease. The economy has stagnated without prospects of revival amid growing threat of chaos and anarchy. When the Afghan Taliban seized power in August 2021, not only did the outside world cut off trade with Afghanistan, but all countries, except Pakistan and Qatar, suspended diplomatic relations as well The United States chose to freeze Afghan assets worth $9.5 billion. Now the situation on ground is that one million children are confronting hunger, poverty and destitution. At present, 95% of Afghans have nothing to eat and drink and are without warm clothes and proper shelter. There is likelihood of a humanitarian crisis raising its menacing head if the situation is not dealt with right now. As a neighboring country, Pakistan has felt obliged to help Afghans since day one. It announced a fund of Rs. 5 billion in addition with warm clothes, wheat, rice and other essentials to be delivered to Afghanistan. However, when it saw that the situation was getting worse, it convened a meeting of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers to draw the attention of the Islamic world to the plight of the Afghan people. The OIC presented a 31-point draft resolution supporting a peaceful, stable and independent Afghan-istan. Afghanistan was urged to uphold and implement human rights under the United Nations and the OIC Charter. The reports of UN agencies on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan were reviewed as well. The meeting called on the United Nations to continue its assistance to Afghanistan in cooperation with the OIC. Afghanistan was asked to keep in touch with the international community to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Afghan people. The OIC General Secretariat directed the OIC Mission in Kabul to take financial and logistical steps in this regard. It was admitted that Afghanistan is facing serious difficulties and to address the same, the focus will be on easy access to the legal banking sector. OIC General Secretariat in coordination with Islamic Development Bank and Human Trust Fund had to ensure the provision of economic resources and humanitarian assistance in collaboration with the UN and formulate a strategy in this regard. The Islamic Development Bank was requested to ensure the activation of the Human Trust Fund by the first quarter of 2022. In addition, the Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan secures assurance from member countries, Islamic financial institutions, donors and other international partners for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. The government of Pakistan is already making efforts to ease out Afghanistan in this difficult hour. The efforts should be intensified to implement the 31-point draft agreed upon at the OIC Summit so that Afghan problem is addressed properly.