Islamabad, MINA – Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi on Saturday called for renewed efforts to help neighboring Afghanistan which is sinking further into crisis, when he announced that an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) would be held on the end of this month.
The foreign ministers’ meeting will be held in Islamabad on December 19, alongside delegates from the European Union and the so-called P5 group from the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, The New Arab reported on Sunday.
“Leaving Afghanistan at this stage would be a historic mistake,” Shah Mahmood told a news conference in Islamabad, warning that half of Afghanistan was at risk of starvation that could trigger further chaos.
“Instability can pave the way for new conflicts, it can trigger an exodus of refugees,” he said.
There have been growing warnings about the humanitarian crisis Afghanistan has faced since international aid was abruptly cut, following the takeover by the Taliban on August 15 and fears of disaster if the situation gets out of hand.
However, the arrival of aid has been hindered by sanctions against the Taliban. The US decided to freeze billions of dollars in central bank reserves held outside Afghanistan. Conditions were exacerbated by the collapse of much of the country’s banking system.
Pakistan recently agreed to allow 50,000 tonnes of wheat to transit through its territory from India to help Afghanistan, but aid agencies have warned that more aid is urgently needed. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)