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OIC as Ever Committed to Constructive Engagement on Afghanistan one Year on Post-regime Change
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 17 - 08 - 2022

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) convened its 17th Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting (CFM) in Islamabad, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which was devoted exclusively to the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
A few months later, in March 2022, the OIC 48th Ordinary CFM was held, too, in Pakistan with the situation in Afghanistan retained as a high-priority dossier on the OIC's agenda.
The twin resolutions that emanated from the two ministerial sessions outlined the multi-pronged approach embraced by the OIC vis-à-vis the fast-paced developments that ensued in Afghanistan.
On repeated occasions, the OIC Secretary General, Hissein Brahim Taha, stressed that the daunting challenges facing Afghanistan would not be effectively addressed without pursuing sustained and constructive engagement with the de facto authorities in Kabul.
For his part, the Secretary General's Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Ambassador Tarig Ali Bakheet, has taken the lead of this engagement through manifold stakeholder consultations both within the OIC membership and beyond.
The Special Envoy's two-fold engagement focuses on developing humanitarian programs to be funded by the OIC CFM-established Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan under the stewardship of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to alleviate hardships caused by food insecurity and natural disasters as well as conducting extensive political consultations with the de facto government in Kabul on issues of pressing concerns as well as other priority areas of his mandate.
Though some encouraging signs have emerged about the will of the de facto authorities to tackle controversial issues that have so far impeded Afghanistan from wading its way back into the fold of the international community, the OIC has maintained its unremitting call for the de facto government to fulfil its promises on granting women and girls their fundamental right to work and education.
A more vigorous stand by the Kabul de facto government on stomping out terrorist groups and putting in place a truly inclusive and representative government will go a long way, so is the OIC's position, towards securing lasting peace for the Afghan people who have borne the brunt of decades of conflict and deprivation.
In a bid to set the path towards accomplishing that objective, a delegation of OIC Ulemas (Muslim Scholars) conducted a first working visit to Kabul in June 2022 to engage in a consultative dialogue with Kabul authorities and Afghan religious scholars on a slew of questions with a socio-religious character.
Now that a year has passed after the regime change in Kabul, the OIC still believes that sustained and good-faith engagement is the most constructive way forward not just for the economic and political stabilization of Afghanistan and its people, but also for the security and stability of the region and the world at large.

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