May 28, 2019
- King Salman invites 57 members to 14th OIC summit in Makkah.
- Forum highlights key Saudi role in forging Muslim unity, Pakistani senator says
FILE – In this Jan. 4, 2019 file photo, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks at a news conference in Ankara, Turkey. Khan has congratulated his Indian counterpart on his victory in the massive general election. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici, file)
By Muhammad Ishtiaq | Arab News
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will lead his country’s delegation at the 14th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Makkah on May 31.
King Salman has invited 57 members of the OIC to attend the summit, the fourth session to be held in the holy city.
The two-day forum will discuss key issues facing the Muslim world, including strengthening unity among Muslim states amid rising tensions in the Arabian Gulf.
Khan is also expected to meet Muslim world leaders on the sidelines of the summit.
Pakistani Senator Sehar Kamran said the Makkah forum “is taking place at a critical time.”
“Saudi Arabia can play a vital role in forging harmony and unity within the Muslim Ummah, and lead Muslim countries to confront the growing threat of terrorism and militancy in the region,” she said.
Kamran said recent missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, “specifically the evil designs to target the holy sites,” have caused alarm across the Muslim world.
“I hope the Islamic summit will be instrumental in identifying and containing evil conspiracies,” she said.
Pakistan’s former consul general in Jeddah, Rizwan Ul Haq Mahmood, said that Saudi Arabia’s efforts to “bridge the gulf between Islamic countries made it the political leader of the Islamic world.”
The Kingdom “is aiming to revive unity of thought among Muslim states and ensure a unanimous stand on thorny issues,” he said.
Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, chairman of the All Pakistan Ulema Council, said the Muslim world has high hopes for the summit’s outcome.
“Saudi services to the Islamic world cannot be ignored,” he said.
King Salman’s invitation to Muslim leaders and scholars is a positive sign for the challenges confronting the Muslim world, Ashrafi said.
The OIC was founded in 1969 and is the world’s second-largest intergovernmental organization after the UN with 57 member states from four continents.