ISLAMABAD: Foreign ministers from member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Thursday approved the appointment of Dr Yusuf Ahmad al Othaimeen as the association’s new secretary general at an emergency session that also condemned a recent Houthi missile attack, which Saudi Arabia claimed was aimed at Makkah.
Held in Makkah, the emergency session was overshadowed by the absence of Iran, which has serious differences with Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Gulf over current unrest in the Middle East.
Yemen’s Houthis launch missile toward Makkah
Pakistan was represented by Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz who, according to a Foreign Office statement, joined other member countries in “condemning the missile attack by Houthi militias aimed at the holy city of Makkah.”
Pakistan has been treading a careful path since the conflict in Yemen erupted. It refused to send ground forces to Yemen to fight alongside Saudi and other Arab forces against the Houthi rebels. The move created unusual strain in Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries.
But friction has eased in recent months after Pakistan decided to join a Saudi-led 34-nation coalition of ‘likeminded’ Muslim countries to coordinate and cooperate with each other to fight terrorism. While Pakistan maintained a somewhat neutral stance on the issue of Yemen and Syria, it nevertheless assured Saudi Arabia to extend full support to the Kingdom in case its territorial integrity is threatened.
OIC condemns Indian atrocities in IOK
The FO said Sartaj reiterated full support to the defence of “Haramain al Sharifain and commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
The adviser also highlighted Indian brutalities in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir against defenceless civilians peacefully protesting and struggling for the realisation of their right to self-determination. “The oppressed people of IOK look towards OIC and Muslim countries for continued support,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2016.
Courtesy : Express Tribune