OIC Meeting in Pakistan: Forget Afghanistan, Money is Imran Khan’s Real Goal

This request must have been terribly awkward. Saudi-Pakistani relations are just starting to recover after the Saudi foreign minister visited in July.

Since then, another loan of $ 4.2 billion has just been granted, but at a higher interest rate and on very harsh terms.

The meeting passed a resolution committing to establish a humanitarian trust fund by early next year, with members, Islamic financial institutions and international institutions invited to donate. A special envoy has been appointed and a food program has been set up, two good initiatives. Individual OIC members like Qatar have been generous in their aid, while the first tranche of Saudi aid began just two days before the meeting, with some six planes flying to aid Kabul. A second tranche goes through 200 trucks from Pakistan. It’s good for Pakistan in more ways than one. This allows Islamabad to be a benefactor, and it is good for the economy since all this aid will be bought from Pakistan. This model is likely to be followed if other OIC countries follow suit.

As Qureshi smugly said, US envoy Tom West was able to have a meeting with Amir Khan Muttaqi of the Taliban. Indeed, the Taliban were given the platform to meet with just about everyone, apparently to fill the “confidence gap”. This is when their human rights record is collapsing.

In his speech, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan decided that human rights should be viewed from a cultural perspective, citing reluctance to educate women in his own tribal areas. This will not wash away much in Kabul, accustomed to a liberal order for decades, except for the short rule of the Taliban. The second part of the Pakistani push is to push for a thaw of frozen assets, which the OIC must pursue, with the Islamic Development Bank to coordinate.

For Pakistan’s plan to be successful, the Taliban must be removed from the list of designations. This seems unlikely given the track record of most of its ministers, including the Haqqanis, who appear to be engaged in a scuffle to get (relatively) more moderate people out. To give in now is to give in to the terrorists.

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