Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday suggested that close ally China and Islamic countries mediate in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and try to bring about a ceasefire.
The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) is holding the 48th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, which more than 600 delegates are attending, including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as a special guest, in the Pakistani capital.
The OIC is meeting with an ambitious agenda that seeks approval for over 100 declarations, including aid for financially strapped Afghanistan and support for the Palestinians and Kashmir.
“May I suggest that OIC during its discussion with foreign ministers, we should think about how ... how we can mediate, how we can bring about the ceasefire,” Khan told the gathering.
“I want to discuss how, maybe OIC along with China, we can all step in and try to stop this conflict which is going to have, if it keeps going the way it is, it would have great consequences for the rest of the world.”
Khan’s comments came hours after China and Pakistan echoed concerns about “spill-over effects of unilateral sanctions” on Russia, according to a statement by the Chinese foreign ministry.
Prime Minister Khan trumpeted his Islamic credentials at the OIC meeting. In an address to dozens of foreign ministers, he partly blamed Muslims for allowing Islamaphobia to spread, saying they had not united against actions deemed blasphemous for fear of being labelled extremist.
“There is a perception that there is different types of Islam,” he told the 57-nation IOC gathering.
“The moment you say you are a moderate Muslim, you acknowledge extremism,” he added, saying this suggested there was division on the issue of blasphemy.
Violent protests have broken out across Pakistan in recent years over Western acts deemed blasphemous, including the publishing of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Khan long campaigned against growing anti-Muslim sentiment, and takes credit for the UN’s move last week to adopt an International Day to Combat Islamaphobia.
Khan said he was inspired to enter politics by the example of the “perfect” society that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) attempted to create in Madina centuries ago.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke on the need for friendly coexistence.
“China and the Islamic world have found a path of friendly coexistence and win-win co-operation between different civilisations, which serves as a model for a new form of diplomatic ties,” Wang said.

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