THE two-day conference of Foreign Ministers of OIC held in Dhaka under the theme of ‘Islamic Values for Sustainable Peace and Development’ has deliberated upon some of the crucial and burning issues confronting the Muslim world and made recommendations that could help address them effectively. It adopted a comprehensive ‘Dhaka Declaration’ containing analysis of the peace, security and developmental challenges to the globe especially the Muslim world, need for closer cooperation among member states in science and technology particularly IT that has the potential to transform Muslim societies, solidarity with Muslim causes including Kashmir issue and most importantly the plight of Rohingya Muslims that are currently encamped in Bangladesh.
The issues discussed and recommendations made during Dhaka moot have raised hopes that the OIC could play a potent role in addressing challenges facing the Muslim world including right of self-determination of the Muslim communities, hot spots involving Muslim states, menace of terrorism and extremism, ignominious poverty and backwardness, ignorance, equipping Muslim youth with modern knowledge and skills and gender equality. We have been emphasising in these columns that the OIC member states have all the requisite potential to address ills afflicting them if workable plans are drawn and implemented with commitment and sincerity. Muslim world is bestowed with immense natural, human resources and their proper exploitation could accelerate the pace of socio-economic growth in otherwise impoverished or less developed member states. Some of the member countries are counted among top ranking nations as far as scientific and technological progress and achievements are concerned and they can share their knowledge and expertise with other countries. What we need is creation of Centre of Excellence in member states and initiation of joint ventures in areas where the Muslim world is much dependent on others. It is also unfortunate that currently almost all the unresolved political and territorial issues concern the Muslim world and no worthwhile interest is being shown by other members of the global community for their resolution for understandable reasons. OIC will have to take the lead and move from conceptual stage to practical implementation of its charter and vision. It is also appreciable that the conference expressed total support for oppressed Rohingya Muslims and vowed to contribute for their upkeep in Bangladesh yet what Rohingya’s need is their repatriation to Myanmar with safety and honour.