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Kashmir must be resolved as per aspirations of people: Imran Khan at OIC summit

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Leaders from across the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) met in Saudi Arabia early Saturday for the 14th session of the Islamic Summit, which follows two emergency Arab meetings the night before in Makkah criticising Iran’s behaviour and influence in countries like Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

The Muslim leaders discussed a breadth of critical issues, ranging from a spike in tensions in the Persian Gulf to Palestinian statehood, the plight of Rohingya refugees and the growing threat of Islamophobia.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was among the leaders who spoke at the summit.

Khan started his maiden speech at the OIC by raising the issue of Islamophobia: “When someone from the West blasphemed our Holy Prophet (PBUH), I always felt the response from the Muslim Ummah and OIC was lacking.”

“The OIC — us heads of states — owes a responsibility to the Muslim world […] when somebody blasphemes our Prophet (PBUH), it is a failure of the OIC that we have not been able to explain to the other countries the love and affection we feel for our Holy Prophet,” said Prime Minister Imran, Dawn reported.

“Some western countries are suffering from Islamophobia. The West should differentiate between moderate Muslim and extremist Muslim.”

“The international community has to respect the feelings of more than 1 billion Muslims,” he added.

“I also want to bring up the point that the Muslim world must pay more attention to science and technology,” the premier urged. “We must pay more attention to quality education and universities; an area in which the Muslim world lags. I fear the Muslim world may be left behind again and this is the best forum to raise this concern in.”

He also touched upon the plight of the people of Kashmir as well as Palestine, saying Pakistan supports the two-state solution and recognising East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

“The people of Kashmir must also have their right to self-determination; us as a body must stand against the oppression happening with the Muslim world.”

He reiterated Pakistan’s strong stance to resolve Kashmir dispute, saying it must be resolved as per UN resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiris, adding that peaceful struggle of the people of Kashmir and Palestine must not labelled as terrorism. (Agencies)

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