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TEXT: It is our great privilege to host the 48th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad, on 22-23 March 2022. This special occasion, which coincides with the 75th anniversary celebrations of Pakistan's independence, will not only serve as an affirmation of Pakistan's leading role within the OIC, but also a collective celebration of our accomplishments since independence in 1947.

Pakistan has a proud history of hosting OIC Summits and meetings of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers. These include the Second OIC Summit Conference in February 1974, as well as four Sessions of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM). Pakistan has also hosted two Extraordinary Sessions of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, including the recently-held 17th Extraordinary Session of OIC CFM on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan.

The 48th Session of the OIC CFM is being hosted at a time when the entire Muslim World is faced with numerous challenges, and the need for solidarity and cooperation between Muslim Ummah is more pressing than ever. During the course of our Chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, Pakistan will sincerely endeavour to promote unity amongst the OIC Member states, advance the cause of justice for all Islamic people, including for our Kashmiri and Palestinian brethren who are forced to live under illegal and oppressive occupations, and promote the mutually reinforcing goals of prosperity and development for the OIC Member States. Similarly, ensuring full and complete recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic also remains a key priority for us.

The proposed theme of the 48th Session, "Partnering for Unity, Justice and Development" perfectly encapsulates these priorities; and based on these ideals, we will seek to build bridges of cooperation and construct partnerships across the Islamic World and beyond. I believe that the 48th Session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers will serve as a unique opportunity for the leaders of the Muslim World to collectively reaffirm their commitment towards the unity, solidarity and prosperity amongst the Muslim Ummah. It would also solidify the collective position and stance of the Muslim World on pertinent issues and emerging challenges.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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