Deputy PM Ishaq Dar reaches Gambia to attend OIC summit

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DNA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar Wednesday reached Banjul, Gambia where he will be leading Pakistan’s delegation at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) upcoming summit wherein he will raise the issues of Gaza and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

“I have now arrived in Gambia to represent Pakistan at 15th Summit in addition to holding bilateral meetings with dignitaries from member countries attending the Summit,” Deputy PM Dar said in a post on X.

Upon his arrival, the foreign minister was received by the Gambian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Nani Juwara, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Ambassador Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi and Ambassador of Pakistan to Senegal accredited to the Gambia Saima Maymunah Sayed.

Earlier while in a statement, the Foreign Office said that the foreign minister will be attending the OIC summit on May 4-5 after taking part the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers’ Meeting preceding the Summit on May 2-3 to finalise the agenda and outcome documents for the summit.

During his trip, the foreign minister will speak about Islamabad’s perspective on the ongoing genocide in Gaza — where around 35,000 Palestinians have been martyred by Israel since October last year — and the right to self-determination of the people of IIOJK.

Accentuating the need to find collective solutions to challenges confronting the Muslim Ummah, Dar will also address other issues such as imperatives of solidarity and unity of the Ummah, rising Islamophobia, issues of climate change, terrorism and other global challenges.

Furthermore, the deputy PM is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with leaders and foreign ministers attending the event.

It is to be noted that the OIC, in February earlier this year, held an “Extraordinary Session of Islamic Conference of Information Ministers” of the member states wherein the forum had condemned Israel’s ongoing military aggression in Gaza provisioning “systematic oppression, massacre, and genocide of Palestinians civilians”.

Calling on the international community to hold the Israeli occupation authorities accountable for their crimes, the forum had reiterated its call for realisation of Palestinians’ “inalienable rights, including  national independence and sovereignty of the State of Palestine”.

The upcoming OIC summit will once again provide a key opportunity to member states to deliberate upon the dire situation in Gaza and project a strong, collective and unified stance on the Palestinian question.