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Blinken praises Pakistan for hosting OIC summit on Afghanistan

The United States on Wednesday thanked Pakistan for hosting an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit on Afghanistan, as the country faces a severe financial crunch due to sanctions.

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On Wednesday, US State Secretary Antony Blinken expressed gratitude to Pakistan for hosting an unusual meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers to examine the situation in Afghanistan.

“The extraordinary session of the OIC on Afghanistan exemplifies our joint desire and effort to assist people in need. We express our gratitude to Pakistan for holding this crucial summit and for inviting the international community to continue working together to serve the Afghan people “Blinken remarked.

Read more: OIC Summit: Pakistan leaves no stone unturned to help Afghanistan

On Sunday, the OIC held its session in Islamabad

The conference was attended by envoys from 57 Islamic countries as well as observer delegations, during which it was determined to establish a Humanitarian Trust Fund and a Food Security Program to deal with the fast worsening crisis.

In a communiqué issued at the close of the exceptional session, the OIC, which is also the world’s second-largest multilateral organization, stated that it “shall play a leading role.”

The OIC, which is also the world’s second-largest multilateral forum, in a communiqué adopted at the end of the extraordinary session said it “will play a leading role in the delivery of humanitarian and development aid to the people of Afghanistan”.

Read more: OIC and Pakistan’s pledges for Afghanistan

PM Khan on Afghanistan

Addressing the summit, Prime Minister Imran Khan had issued a clear warning to the global community, stating that Afghanistan could potentially become the biggest “man-made crisis in the world” if action was not taken immediately.

He said instability in Afghanistan would not be in anyone’s interest as it could lead to refugee exodus from the war-ravaged country and a heightened terrorism threat, particularly from the militant Islamic State group.

A day later, the premier voiced veiled criticism at the US for creating a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and allowing it to worsen.

“A man-made crisis is being created despite knowing that it can be averted if (Afghanistan’s) accounts (in the US) are unfrozen and liquidity is put into their banking system,” PM Imran said while speaking at a ceremony held at Foreign Office to celebrate the success of the OIC meeting.

Read more: World lauds Pakistan’s OIC bid on Afghanistan

More than half the population in Afghanistan, nearly 22 million people, is facing an acute food shortage. Unicef estimates that some 3.2 million Afghan children under the age of five will suffer from malnutrition this winter.