OIC Summit or the ICFM, do not confer the

OIC AND PAKISTAN

The Organization of
Islamic Cooperation is a multi-lateral, inter-government organization currently
comprised of 57 member-states and recognized internationally as the official
institutional voice of “the Muslim world the OIC is the second largest inter-government
organization in the world after the UN. It was founded in 1969. Pakistan is a
founding member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. It has played a
vital role in the establishment of the Organization and a number of its
subsidiary organs and affiliated bodies. Pakistan has hosted numerous
conferences and meetings which facilitated the growth of the institutional
infrastructure of the OIC. Discussions at those meetings have also led to the
preparation and adoption of plans for increased contacts and cooperation among
the member states in the political, economic, social and cultural (Mehamood, 2005)

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Four major functions of
an organization, such as:

o  
Collective security,

o  
the peaceful resolutions of inter-member
disputes

o  
foreign policy coordination

o  
the promotion of technical cooperation

Structure
of the OIC

The
OIC has four principal organs:

ü the
Islamic Summit conference

ü the
Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM)

ü the
General Secretariat

ü the
International Islamic Court of Justice.

In
the regular triennial Islamic Summit, the head of the host State becomes the
Chairman of the Islamic Conference. Same is the case with the regular ICFMs
where the Foreign Minister of the host State assumes the ICFM chairmanship till
the next such conference. It may be emphasized that the Extraordinary sessions
of the Summit or the ICFM, do not confer the title of chairmanship. The third
principal organ, the General Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General of
the OIC. Pakistan shares with Morocco and Senegal, the rare honour of heading
all the three principal organs at one time or the other. (Ahamd, 2005)

 Today, the OIC is a well established
organization boasting of a membership of 57 Muslim States; another three States
and two Muslim communities (of Cyprus and Philippines) are observers. Besides
the four principal organs already mentioned, the OIC is composed of many
specialized, ad hoc and standing committees, specialized organs (like the
Islamic Development Bank and Islamic News Agency etc.), subsidiary organs (like
the Islamic Center for History and Culture, the Islamic Sports Federation and
the International Red Crescent Committee etc.), affiliated institutions (like
the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Organization of Islamic
Capitals and Cities etc.) and some Islamic Universities (including Islamic
University of Technology, Bangladesh, and the Oum-ul-Qura Islamic University of
Niger etc.). All these institutions are playing an important role in the
Islamic world.

 

Pakistan’s contribution
to the OIC Charter

Pakistan was very
active in all the issues debated in the 3rd ICFM  in Jeddah, March 1972 that discussed and
adopted the OIC Charter. It was also one of the first states to ratify the
Charter.Many of the later amendments in the OIC Charter including the decision
to hold the Islamic Summit conferences and the enhancement of the tenure of the
OIC Secretary-General from two years to four years etc, had been initiated by
Pakistan. It also captivated upon the OIC to seek observer status with the
United Nations. Pakistan was also instrumental in bringing back Egypt in the
OIC fold after it had been expelled for making peace with Israel. It was also
on Pakistan’s suggestion that the OIC Committee of Eight was transformed into
Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs (ICECS). Pakistan
is also credited with being among the pioneers of floating the idea of an
Islamic International Court of Justice. (Khan, 2003)

Pakistan &
Technical Cooperation

       The Third Summit Conference of 1981
established three ministerial committees each one of them is headed permanently
by certain member state at the presidential level.

These are:

Ø the
Standing Committee for Scientific and Technical Cooperation (COMSTECH) which is
headed by the President of Pakistan.

Ø the
Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) headed by
the President of Turkey.

Ø the
Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs (COMIAC) which is
headed by the President of Senegal.

COMSTECH

the Ministerial
Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation of the OIC
(Organization of Islamic Cooperation) established by the Third Islamic Summit
of OIC held at Makkah, Saudi Arabia in January 1981. The President of Pakistan
is Chairman of COMSTECH. (Mehamood, 2005)

Military cooperation
with OIC states

Pakistan enjoys sound
and steadfast military defence relations with many members of OIC such as Saudi
Arabia, Indonesia, UAE, Brunei, Nigeria and Middle Eastern Countries. Pakistan
Army Military College of Signals has trained more than 500 officers. from
places such as Burma, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Gambia, Ghana, Indonesia,
Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman,
Palestine, Sudan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania,
Turkmenistan, Uganda, UAE. More than 1900 officers from Muslim countries such
as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Palestine, Turkmenistan, Lebanon, Iran,
Ghana, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya and Oman have been trained in Pakistan Naval
Academy. (www.revolvy.com, 2017)

 

  PAKISTAN
AND ISSUES OF MUSLIM WORLD

®  
Afghanistan

The OIC, which had been
indifferent to the developments in Afghanistan till this point, came into
action when a non-Muslim power physically occupied a Muslim country. It became
an Islamic cause for the OIC

In the first phase
(1979-88), the Organization gave full support to the Afghan opposition guerrillas
to throw out the Soviet forces. The OIC involvement in the second phase
(1989-92), starts from its desire to root out the leftovers of Soviet
occupation, i.e., the Soviet-installed communist regime in Kabul and when this
objective was achieved the third phase began, from (1992-2001) during which OIC
had tried to mediate an end to the civil war

When Pakistan saw
Soviet tanks driving into Kabul, it requested the convening of an extraordinary
ICFM session, with the active support from several other Muslim states. It was
the first ever extraordinary ICFM session in OIC history which took place in
January 1980 at Islamabad. It emphasized upon the situation arising out of the
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Conference discarded Soviet occupation of Afghanistan,
condemned it in the strongest terms and described it a violation of the OIC
Charter and that of the UN.  The
Conference decided to suspend the membership of the puppet regime of Babrak
Karmal. It  made appeals to the world
community to support Afghan resistance movements and urged the Muslim states to
provide financial support to Pakistan so as to help it deal with the arrival of
refugees from Afghanistan

The Afghanistan
question naturally remained the top of the agenda at the regular 11th ICFM, which
was held in Islamabad (May 1980) Kabul regime’s request for an invitation was
rejected by the OIC on the grounds that the regime could not be called the
representative of the Afghan people as long as the Soviet troops were not
withdrawn. The Kabul regime promptly offered Soviet withdrawal subject to
positive guarantees by Pakistan, Iran, and the US, that they would not allow
access to Afghanistan from Pakistan and Iran. While Iran and the US were
skeptical about the proposal, Pakistan rejected it utterly as a tactic to
influence the forthcoming 11 ICFM to adopt resolutions. The 11th ICFM repeated
all the decisions of the previous OIC session, condemned the Soviet Union and
called for immediate withdrawal of foreign troops and restoration of the Islamic
and non-aligned character of Afghanistan. It also called for full support to
the frontline states, which were, in this case, Pakistan and Iran.

The conference formed a
committee comprising Pakistan, Iran, and the OIC Secretary General to seek ways
and means for a comprehensive solution of the severe crises and offered the
OIC’s good offices for mediation between the opponent sides.

Pakistan always looked
towards the Islamic Conference not only for the financial support to feed 3.5
million Afghan refugees but also for the political support as well  The OIC’s consistent position was that the
Soviet occupation, as well as its installed Kabul regime, were illegal and have
been imposed against the will of the people of Afghanistan. Nothing less would
be acceptable from the restoration of sovereignty as well as restoration of
Islamic Identity of Afghanistan. The OIC factor has become so important that
when in August 1984 a US Senate staff study asked the government to recognize a
Mujahideen government-in-exile, it recommended that the aid to such government
be channeled through OIC.  It was in
April 1992 that Kabul finally fell in to Mujahideen coalition government. With
the help of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the OIC, the Afghan factions agreed on
a six-month interim arrangement.

Pakistan and the United
Nations requested OIC to play its role as it was the only forum that enjoyed
the respect of all Afghan sides. The OIC announce its own peace plan. The plan
envisioned an interim government, a consultative assembly, free and fair
elections, and reconstruction and rehabilitation work.

®  
Bangladesh
issue

In June1971, when the
civil war was on its peak in east wing of Pakistan, the OIC experts’ committee
meeting to draft the charter was in session at Jeddah. The meeting strongly
condemned external interference in the East Pakistan. A three-member OIC
delegation comprising the Secretary General, Iran, and Kuwait, visited both
parts of Pakistan, to try to mediate between the Pakistan government and the
rebels. The 3rd ICFM refused to recognize Bangladesh and declared its full
support for Pakistan’s Independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
The conference decided to establish a committee of reconciliation comprising
Algeria, Iran, Malaysia, Morocco, Somalia, Tunisia, and the OIC Secretary
General, that was asked to contact President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Islamabad
and Mujib-urRehman in Dhaka. Due to the efforts of the new OIC Secretary
General. Bhutto announced Pakistan’s recognition of Bangladesh, just one day prior
to the 2nd Islamic Summit to be held in Lahore in 1974 in ‘the spirit of the
Islamic solidarity

®  
Kashmir
issue

Pakistan has always
referred to the Kashmir problem in all the OIC conferences. At the 2nd Islamic
Summit held at Lahore, Pakistan in 1974, Pakistan was not sure to gain enough
support to get a resolution on Kashmir adopted. So the Pakistani leader Z.A
Bhutto made only veiled references to the problem.

Pakistani Prime
Minister Banazir Bhutto met with sixteen Muslim heads of the State to support Pakistan
on Kashmir at the OIC. The August of 1990 was one of the finest hours in
Pakistan’s diplomatic history when the19th ICFM held at Cairo, Egypt adopted a
resolution calling upon Pakistan and India to resolve Kashmir problem in
accordance with the relevant UN resolutions. On May 22, 1991 Pakistan wrote to
the OIC Secretary General drawing his attention to the brutalities of the
Indian forces resultantly, the 20th ICFM held at Istanbul in August 1991
reiterated the previous resolutions while calling upon the Secretary General to
send a fact finding mission to Kashmir. The mission however visited the
pro-Pakistan state Azad Kashmir in February 1993. The Secretary General’s report
at the ICFM recommended that Muslim states should review their trade ties with
India, impose ban on the Indian labour force working in the Gulf Muslim states,
support the Kashmiri’s’ right on all international fronts, and use their
influence over India to stop her from committing genocide.

This endeavor from the
government of Pakistan secured response from the international organizations
especially OIC in the form of resolutions and verbal support on the issue of
Kashmir. (Ahamd, 2005)

®  
Jerusalem
and other issue

 Pakistan has espoused the Palestine and the
holy Jerusalem cause, much more than many Arab states could ever do. Right from
September 1947, when Pakistan was admitted to the United Nations, Pakistan
spoke for Palestine and for the liberation of Indonesia, Algeria, Libya and
other Muslim countries from the colonial yoke, at all the UN fora. Even today,
Pakistan is in the forefront of support to the Arabs on Palestine, to the Turks
on North Cyprus issue and to the Malaysians on the Filipino Moro Muslims issue

In the early 1980s,
Pakistan’s efforts as the Chairman of the Ummah Peace Committee, to bring an
end to the Iran-Iraq war, and later in the early 1990s, the then Prime Minister
of Pakistan’s visit to OIC states with his four-point proposal to end the Iraq-Kuwait
dispute are praiseworthy.

In 1974, Prime Minister
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had said “Pakistan’s
support for the just causes of the Muslim world is organically related to its
own national vocation” and that Pakistan had “never suffered a
severance between its national impulse and the urges of the Muslim
emancipation” (Khan, 2003, p. 17)

 

CONCLUSION

 Pakistan’s role in the OIC can fairly be
termed as satisfactory. Record of the OIC clearly reflects the Pakistani
efforts for the consolidation of Muslim unity on a worldwide basis and for spreading
and strengthening cooperation among the Muslim States in the political,
diplomatic, economic and cultural fields. As a keen supporter of Islamic unity,
Pakistan has always tied itself with the OIC decisions, be it on Afghanistan or
Palestine or Bangladesh  The commitment
to the cause of Islam is a cardinal principle of the foreign policy of
Pakistan.

Pakistan has played a
pivotal role in the deliberations of OIC since its inception. Pakistan is a
founding member of the Organization of the Islamic Countries. It has played a
vital role in the establishment of the Organization and a number of its
subsidiary organs and affiliated bodies. The OIC has been long on idiom but
short on action. Since its inauguration in 1969 the OIC summits have produced
more than 3200 resolutions ranging from the boycott of Israel to raising the
level of economic, cultural and political cooperation among the member
countries. Very few substantive resolutions have ever been implemented As far
as major challenges of Muslim Ummah are concerned like Kashmir, Afghanistan,
Palestine and terrorism, OIC just made contact groups and passed the
resolutions but didn’t take any practical steps which would be a serious threat
to aggressors. So the challenges are remained as they were.

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