Islamabad, 20 December 2021 (TDI): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a bilateral meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Kyrgyz Republic on the sidelines of the Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad today.

The two sides exchanged views on issues of bilateral importance and regional situation. They stressed enhancing high-level exchanges between the two countries to further deepen bilateral cooperation in all areas.

The Foreign Minister underscored the significance of establishing direct air and road connectivity between Pakistan and the Kyrgyz Republic. According to Qureshi, that connectivity will promote business and people-to-people exchanges. He emphasized the timely completion of the CASA 1000 power transmission project.

The Foreign Minister highlighted the looming food and economic crisis in Afghanistan. He also underlined that potential humanitarian tragedy can only be averted through collective support and assistance from the international community.

OIC Summit 

Pakistan is the host of the 17th Extraordinary Session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss the grave humanitarian situation in #Afghanistan begins in #Islamabad, #Pakistan

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second-largest organization after the United Nations. That is because OIC has 57 states as members, over four continents. Furthermore, the OIC is the collective voice of the Muslim world.

The Organization aims to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony. Moreover, the decision to establish the Organization dates back to the historical summit which took place in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco.

That Summit in Morocco was in 1969. A year later, the first meeting of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Minister took place in Jeddah. During that meeting, the assistants decided to establish a permanent secretariat in Jeddah headed by the organization’s secretary-general.

The 11th Secretary-General is Dr. Yousef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, and he assumed office in November 2016. In 1972, the Organization adopted the first OIC Charter, during the 3rd ICFM Session. In that Charter, the Organization laid down the objectives and principles of the organization and its fundamental purposes.

Those objectives were to strengthen the solidarity and cooperation among the Member States. Originally, OIC had 30 States as members, and now as mentioned before it has 57. The Eleventh Islamic Summit held in Dakar on 13-14 March 2008, adopted the current Charter.

The Charter has the aim of becoming the pillar of the OIC future Islamic action in line with the requirements of the 21st century. The Organization actively represents Muslims by espousing all important causes of over 1.5 billion Muslims of the world.

THE UN AND FURTHER BACKGROUND OF OIC

The Organization also has consultative and cooperative relations with the UN and other inter-governmental organizations. Those relations have the aim of protecting the vital interests of the Muslims and working for the settlement of conflicts and disputes involving the Member States.

The Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit laid down the blueprint called the Ten-Year Program of Action. That blueprint had the objective of addressing the current challenges of the 21st century.

The result of that session was the adoption of a successor program for the next decade from 2016 to 2025. This new program focuses on 18 priority areas with 107 goals. According to the Organization, the program included the following areas: Peace and Security, Palestine and Al-Quds, Poverty Alleviation, Counter-terrorism, Investment, and Finance, Food Security.

The Program also included Science and Technology, Climate Change and Sustainability, Moderation, Culture and Interfaith Harmony, Empowerment of Women, Joint Islamic Humanitarian Action, Human Rights, and Good Governance.

Currently, the OIC’s key bodies are the Islamic Summit, the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), the General Secretariat; the Al-Quds Committee, and three permanent committees concerned with science and technology, economy and trade, and information and culture.

OIC also has specialized organs like the Islamic Development Bank and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

PAKISTAN IN THE OIC

Pakistan joined the Organization in 1969 as the country was one of its founding states. Since then the country has been an important part of the organization supporting several initiatives and conflict resolution attempts between the members.

CASA 1000 POWER TRANSMISSION PROJECT

It is a new electricity transmission system to connect all four countries, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The $1.2 billion CASA-1000 project will bring 1300 megawatts (MW) of seasonal power from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It is intended to be a major new source of revenue in the regional electricity market, transmitting 4.6 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh)/year. The project has the funding of a consortium of international development institutions.

Among those institutions are the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (UK).

Whereas the US Agency for International Development provides funding support for the CASA-1000 Secretariat. This project will enable Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to make the most efficient use of clean hydropower resources. Thus enabling both countries to transfer and sell their electricity surplus during the summer months