Forge unity to combat terrorism PM to OIC leaders
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addresses the 14th Summit of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) in Makkah Al Mukarramah on Saturday. – PID
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged all Muslim countries to pursue a course of zero tolerance to terror, deny territories for use by any individual or group for launching any terror and extremist agenda and combat militancy in united manner.
She made the call in her address at the 14th OIC Makkah Al Mukarramah Summit, titled ‘Hand in Hand Towards the Future’, at Safa Palace in the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia yesterday.
Sheikh Hasina recalled her four-point formula for the Muslim world, earlier pronounced at the Riyadh conference, namely, stop supply of arms, stop flow of financing for terrorism, remove divisions within the Ummah, and pursue a peaceful settlement of conflicts through dialogue.
The Bangladesh leader sought support from the OIC member states to raise the Rohingya case at the International Court of Justice through voluntary funding and technical help from the organization. Such a step was necessary, she pointed out, to ensure the legal rights of the Rohingyas and to address the question of accountability and justice.
Recalling that the Abu Dhabi Conference of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held last March had created a pathway towards moving the International Court of Justice on the issue, she said, “We thank Gambia for steering the process this far. We make an appeal to member states to support the launching of the case with voluntary funding and technical help.”
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has given shelter to more than 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar despite its resource constraints. “But their dignified return is still uncertain as Myanmar consistently fails to honor its promises to create a conducive environment for the return of the Rohingyas to Northern Rakhine.”
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud receives Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her arrival at the venue of the 14th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Makkah on Saturday. — PID PHOTO
Mentioning that poverty still remains the biggest global challenge, Sheikh Hasina said it is both a cause and a consequence of ignorance, disasters and erosion of human values.She stressed the need for implementing the OIC-2025: Programme of Action through joint Islamic action in order to remove this anomaly.
Sheikh Hasina also urged the OIC to devise a comprehensive strategy to meet the adverse changes in strategic spaces in a world confronted with challenges in such critical areas as the economy, ecology and security.
“In a world faced with challenges in the economy, ecology and security, the OIC has to devise a comprehensive strategy to meet adverse changes in the strategic spaces in which each of us operates as states,” she said.”We have more than a third of the world’s strategic resources and the majority of its youth. Therefore, on our own we should able to solve our own problems,” she said.
Hasina said it is heartening to see the OIC undertaking much needed reforms and renovations to adapt itself to the demands of the twenty-first century. “While we change and adapt, we must aim at upholding the values of Islam — fraternity, equality and justice — as demonstrated by Rasul-e-Kareem (SA),” she said.
She said Islam, which came as a harbinger of light to a dark world, is now wrongly perceived through the prism of the ideology of extremism and violence. Such a perception, she added, has led to a misinterpretation of the faith.
Regarding the recent terror attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, she extended her sympathies to and expressed solidarity with the bereaved families of the Christchurch attacks as well as those in different cities of Sri Lanka. The terror attacks in Sri Lanka claimed the life of one of her grandchildren, eight-year-old Sheikh Zayan.
“We share the pain and agony of the suffering peoples of Palestine, Syria, and elsewhere, who are being mercilessly murdered every day. Let this summit set the course under your Majesty’s stewardship to turn the tide. Let there be a beginning of an end to Muslim indignity and misery,” she said.
The Prime Minister noted that the OIC had been conceived as a measure to reclaim “the territory and sovereign rights of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, safeguard the dignity and rights of the Ummah, and strengthen solidarity and cooperation in the Muslim world.” She regretted, though, that seven decades on the Palestine question still persists, and “our nations and communities still stand divided.”
“We should make the best use of OIC institutions, like the Islamic Development Bank, by synchronizing their policies and practices with the OIC agenda,” Sheikh Hasina stated.
Stating that an incubation of ideas and innovations into marketable products and services is what the Islamic world needs today, she invited all to participate in turning the Islamic University of Technology (IUT), which Bangladesh is home to, into a center of excellence.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud hosted the conference of the 57-member OIC with a view to developing a unified stance of Muslim leaders on rising tensions in the Gulf.The OIC’s inaugural meeting took place in Rabat, Morocco, a month after an arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on August 21, 1969. — Agencies