Pakistan is reportedly heading up a coalition of Muslim countries to help Afghanistan avert a humanitarian and economic crisis.
Foreign ministers from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a group of 57 Muslim states, are meeting Sunday in Pakistan’s capital to find ways to bring aid to Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which took over after the US military pulled out of the country in mid August, the Voice of America reported.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s foreign minister, cautioned that the OIC meeting does not constitute official recognition of the insurgent regime, according to the report.
“Please do not abandon Afghanistan,” said Qureshi. “Please engage. We are speaking for the people of Afghanistan. We’re not speaking of a particular group. We are talking about the people of Afghanistan.”
The country is facing an imminent humanitarian disaster as a result of the Taliban takeover. Billions of dollars in the country’s assets have been frozen and foreign aid to the country has dried up as countries adopt a wait-and-see approach to whether the Taliban will return to the harsh, fundamentalist rule that it adopted when it first came to power in 1996.
The US, Russia, China and European Union will send representatives to the one-day summit in Islamabad, Qureshi said.