Speech by Afghan Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi at OIC Foreign Ministers meeting in Islamabad
15/05/1443 Hijri Lunar — 19/12/2021
الحمد لله والصلاة السلام علی خیر خلقه محمد وعلی آله واصحابه اجمعین.
((وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا)) صدق الله العظيم
Mr. Hussain Ibrahim Taha the Secretary-General of OIC, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Shah Mahmood Qureishi Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and members of the OIC,
May Peace, Mercy and Blessing of Allah be upon you all!
Before anything else I extend by gratitude, as a representative of the people of Afghanistan, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Secretary-General of the OIC for convening this important meeting in such extraordinary circumstances.
As Afghanistan, from a historic perspective, is one of the founding members of OIC, we are also presently seeking to remain an active member of this organization. We remain a unified body and none can wedge a divide amongst us.
- We stand ready, as a member of a single family, to listen to and accept all requests, concerns and advice of Islamic countries in relation to Afghanistan that can lead towards a proper and just roadmap and direct us out of the current crisis. We thank Islamic countries for their empathy in this regard.
We, as a representative and responsible government of the Afghan people, consider human rights, women rights and participation by all capable Afghans from various regions our duty. We have done much in this regard and will continue to take further steps.
Recently a very effective decree was announced by the leader of the Islamic Emirate about the rights of women which shall prove instrumental in giving them their rights.
But we must regretfully say that we continue to be targets of partisan propaganda by a number of media outlets whereby the present picture of Afghanistan is displayed in a distorted manner to the world. And this despite peace prevailing throughout Afghanistan after the 15th of August and none facing danger to their lives due to political or other factors. After forty years of instability and war, every Afghan currently has an opportunity to reside in their homeland without fear or threats.
- It is the first time ever that Afghan detention centers are not holding any political prisoners.
- All government departments have resumed operations in a very short period and are providing needed services.
- Five hundred thousand civil servants from the former regime are continuing to work in the various departments of the Islamic Emirate and none are treated in a discriminatory or vindictive manner.
- People from all ethnicities, regions and faiths see themselves reflected in the current government and we remain committed to broadening by providing favorable opportunity of participation for professionals from all ethnicities and faiths.
- Corruption and strongmen have been restrained, administrative corruption, usurpation, personal use of national resources and islands of power have been eliminated. Afghanistan, following many decades, finally has a government that is united and controls all territory.
The new government exercising control over the entire country – that has secured its geography and territorial integrity, established security, does not pose a threat to any world country and as a ruling system – reserves the right to have formal relations with the world and be a responsible member of the wider international community.
- We assure the entire world and specifically Islamic countries that the territory of Afghanistan will not be used against anyone and we shall work in tandem to combat the cultivation and trafficking of narcotics.
All must acknowledge that political isolation of Afghanistan is not beneficial for anyone, therefore it is imperative that all support the prevailing stability and back it both politically and economically.
- Afghanistan presently is a very secure country from a security perspective. We are hopeful that work on regional projects is expedited and half-done projects financed by world countries completed.
- Currently there exists a great opportunity for foreign investment. We call on the international investors and specifically those from Islamic countries to begin investments in Afghanistan. We from our side assure them about providing all necessary facilities. As a result of the prevalent security, Afghanistan can now transform into a hub of regional economic connectivity.
At a time when our people have been devastated by wars, drought, the covid-19 pandemic and poverty, as billions of our dollar reserves have been frozen, and the suspension of development and assistance projects by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other institutes have led to health, education and social services teetering on the brink, all of this has only harmed the general public.
- All these elements need urgent resolutions and we remain hopeful about jointly addressing them with the assistance of Islamic countries and international humanitarian organizations. We need urgent assistance in the short term and our compatriots need liquidity more than items in order to retain the value of Afghani currency and to address their principle needs. Fortunately, Afghanistan now has a responsible, non-corrupt and committed government that shall safeguard Afghans from difficulties moving forward. As the developments are nascent and we face unjust sanctions, our people are in dire need of your support.
- We welcome the return of diplomats from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to Kabul.
- The sanctions on Afghanistan and freezing of assets by the United States of America is harming the Afghans, is a clear violation of the human rights of Afghans, and can be interpreted as enmity with an entire nation.
We urge participants of this great gathering to remind US officials that persecution of Afghans and weakening of the Afghan government is not in the interest of anyone. This is not conducive to improving ties. Such actions harm American prestige and exacerbate the refugee crisis, the detrimental effects of which will not spare the wider world.
- We call on members of the OIC that have deferred reopening their embassies in Kabul to reopen their missions, and we shall welcome them as a friend nation.
- To end I again recall and reassure nations of the Islamic world that Afghanistan now has a responsible and committed government. This government, as a representative and legal authority of Afghanistan, has the capability of interacting politically and responsibly with other nations in official capacity.
Thank you for your attention.