Collective efforts needed to counter Islamophobia, says Qureshi | Pakistan Today

Collective efforts needed to counter Islamophobia, says Qureshi

DOHA: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday said Pakistan fully supported the Kuala Lumpur Summit, an initiative of Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad, bringing together five Muslim nations to achieve socio-economic development.

Addressing at the second Kuala Lumpur Summit Ministerial Meeting held in Qatar’s capital, the Foreign Minister said the challenges of governance, development, climate change, terrorism and rising Islamophobia, warranted an integrated and comprehensive response.

Muslim countries including Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey and Qatar are participating in the ministerial meeting in Doha on invitation from Malaysia. The main summit will be held in Kuala Lumpur from December 18 to 21.

The seven areas of focus include development and sovereignty; integrity and good governance; culture and identity; justice and freedom; peace, security and defence, trade and investment and technology and internet governance.

The foreign minister said with the juggernaut of globalization causing a civilisational and cultural erosion, it was imperative for the Muslim world to tread a cautious path. “We must not only make sure that we are not left behind but are able to preserve our unique civilisational identity, cultural personality and national sovereignty,” he said.

Qureshi said Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Iran and Turkey collectively accounted for about 50 percent of the total GDP, 37 percent each of natural gas production and population, and 18 percent of the total area of Muslim world.

He said for the nations situated in close proximity to the strategic maritime points of the world – namely the Straits of Malacca, Gulf of Oman, Strait of Hormuz, and the Bosphorus, there existed an immense potential for collective development and shared prosperity.

“We must have the requisite political and diplomatic space to enhance beneficial cooperation among us for socio-economic development,” he said.

“No country can face the problems that exist today, by itself,” he said.
Qureshi emphasised that countries should form a joint strategy to tackle the challenges that they face in terms of Islamophobia, terrorism and environment.

“We should utilize our potential for collective development and prosperity,” he added.

The foreign minister said Pakistan was working on proposals for cooperation within the KL Summit framework in the fields of trade, tourism, Islamic banking, food security, higher education, science and technology and women empowerment.

While charting the future course of KL Summit or ‘Perdana Dialogue for Civilization’, he said there was a need to be mindful of the perceptions and perspectives of the partners inside and outside of the Muslim world.

He endorsed the statement of Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir that “we are not here to challenge any existing organization or directing our cooperation against any third party.”

The ‘Perdana Dialogue’, he said would not just be a think tank or a forum for discussions but would also allow the participating countries to undertake concrete projects for collaboration.

He expressed the confidence that sharing of experiences, knowledge and resources would help the participating counties in achieving the targets of socio-economic and cultural development, driven by innovation and technology in a peaceful and secure environment.

“We have to create a knowledge-seeking culture for our youth, who are going to be the future leaders, at all levels,” he added.



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