Islamabad, 19 March 2022 (TDI): Foreign Minister’s Public Diplomacy official Twitter account along with Dr. Rabia Akhtar, organized a discussion titled ‘Discussing OIC in Pakistan with the Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan’ today.

Dr. Rabia Akhtar is Director at the Centre for Security, Strategy, and Policy Research (CSSPR) and heads the School of Integrated Social Sciences at the University of Lahore.

The discussion was held on Twitter Spaces, which is an online meeting platform. The purpose was to discuss the forthcoming 48th session of the OIC CFM, scheduled to be held in Pakistan on March 22 and 23.

To be more precise the Foreign Secretaries in the meeting shared their viewpoints regarding the significance of the mentioned session.

Moderator and Panelists

Dr. Rabia Akhtar moderated the session. The Panelists were the four Former Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan. They included:

1- Ambassador Salman Bashir

He served as the Ambassador of Pakistan to Denmark, China, India, Mongolia, and Lithuania. It is relevant to mention that he also served at OIC Secretariat in Jeddah.

Ambassador Salman Bashir's profile - credits Foreign Minister's Public Diplomacy Official Twitter account
Ambassador Salman Bashir’s profile – credits Foreign Minister’s Public Diplomacy official Twitter account
2- Ambassador Tehmina Janjua

She has the distinction of providing her services as Pakistan’s first woman Foreign Secretary. She remained the Ambassador of Pakistan to Albania, Italy, Slovenia, FAO, WFP, and the list goes on.

Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry
Ambassador Tehmina Janjua‘s profile – credits Foreign Minister’s Public Diplomacy official Twitter account
3- Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani

He served as the Ambassador of Pakistan to the USA, Belgium, Luxemburg, EU as well as Australia.

Ambassdor Jalil Abbas Jilani's profile - credits
Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani’s profile – credits Foreign Minister’s Public Diplomacy official Twitter account
4- Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry

He had the honor of serving as the Ambassador of Pakistan to the USA and the Netherlands. Additionally, he like others has a huge commendable list of achievements.

Foreign Minister's Public Diplomacy official Twitter account
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry’s profile – credits Foreign Minister’s Public Diplomacy official Twitter account
Significance of OIC hosted by Pakistan and Viewpoints of Panelists

The moderator Dr. Rabia Akhtar after warmly welcoming the esteemed panelists asked them about the significance of the 48th OIC CFM. To be specific Dr. Rabia Akhtar’s question was :

” What is the significance of the 48th OIC CFM hosted by Pakistan on March 22, 23, and what are your expectations from this session? “

The dignitaries one after another shared their viewpoints.

1- Ambassador Salman Bashir’s viewpoint

First of all, he shed light on how the OIC is an organization that brings together 57 countries. The countries that are from different continents of Africa, Asia as well as Europe. All of them come and sit together under the banner of Islamic Solidarity, he stated.

He shared that the organization has evolved into a structural one over time. It has embedded in itself multiple organs covering several domains.

With such development, the entity brings a special focus to concerns of various countries. Furthermore, this session will bring about “revival and renewal” of the partnership among the countries.

While talking about the partnership he referred to the theme of this OIC CFM session. The theme is ‘Partnership for Unity, Justice, and Development.’

Lastly, he added that this is an opportunity for Muslim states to bring a spotlight on the goals and aspirations of Muslims in the world.

2Ambassador Tehmina Janjua’s viewpoint

Tehmina Jajua gave multiple reasons for the importance of the session. Pakistan is an important player in the OIC. The country has a history of closely working with the organization and so it is acknowledged by member states as a key player.

OIC CFM Session and Pakistan’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations are coinciding. While talking about this Tehmina Janjua stated that Pakistan also held a Special Summit at the time of its 50th anniversary i.e. Golden Jubilee. At the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, it is having the honor of hosting the OIC CFM.

Strengthening multilateralism: Shedding lights on today’s world the former Foreign Secretary emphasized the need to adopt a multilateral approach. The world is heading towards polarization.

In this regard it is essential to create space in the international system to avoid getting tied to any bloc, she stated. OIC providers a political push to member states to respond to such situations, she further added.

Opportunity for discussing concerns: Holding the session will provide an opportunity to discuss common concerns. Divisions among members might exist, but that is natural, she elaborated.

Viewing it at a macro level there is a sense of solidarity among the leaders. The sense serves as a binding factor and source of unity over common issues.

3- Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani’s viewpoint

He started off by stating some facts. He shared that OIC represents:

  • 22% of Worlds Population
  • 70% of World Energy Resources
  • 40% of available Raw Material

In light of the above facts, he said that if the states unite they can become an incredible force. This force can then help address issues effectively.

Afterward, he referred to why initially the organization came into being. The reason for doing so was to recall its objectives and their significance.

He specifically emphasized that the entity was meant to work in collaboration. It is meant to develop collaborative frameworks for economic growth, trade scientific innovation, etc.

Lastly, he added that Islamic countries must look at past and present successes. As far as the future is concerned so mutually beneficial frameworks and win-win cooperation must be developed.

Lastly, he added that ” Common Response to Common Challenges” must and will be sought through in the upcoming session.

4- Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry’s viewpoint

Ambassador Aizaz also voiced his opinion on the upcoming meeting. He stated that Pakistan must utilize the infrastructure that has been developed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation over the years.

All three kinds of infrastructure namely economic, social, and culture. He shared that unlike other members states Pakistan has not fully utilized the platform. Now is the time to do so.

Furthermore, the Ambassador also referred to the National Security Policy of Pakistan. Under the policy the country must upscale and upgrade the economic cooperation with the OIC, he stated.

Both the above-mentioned points highlight the significance of the meeting for Pakistan. In addition to sharing the above points, he also referred to the recent 15th March declaration as the ‘ International Day to Combat Islamophobia’.

The Ambassador called it an “excellent step by Pakistan”. Pakistan’s leadership role in the OIC was commended. Pakistan’s commitment to the cause of OIC is constant, he added.

To put all the above in a nutshell, the forthcoming sessions’ importance can not be sidelined. The country is looking forward to hosting it successfully with the aim of achieving multiple goals.