Ns News Online Desk: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday appealed to the Muslim countries under the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to firmly stand beside the forcibly deported Rohingyas to protect their dignity and security as there is no scope for the organization to overlook this crisis.
“My appeal to the OIC is to stand solidly beside the forcibly deported Rohingyas in safeguarding their dignity and security. The Holy Prophet’s (SAW) message for us was to stand beside the distressed humanity. When the Rohingya community of Myanmar is being subjected to ‘ethnic cleansing’, the OIC fraternity cannot overlook it,” she said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the inaugural session of the 45th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of OIC that began with a special focus on Rohingya issue and other challenges facing the Muslim Ummah at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in the city. The theme of the year’s meeting is “Islamic Values for Sustainable Peace, Solidarity and Development.” This is the second time that Bangladesh is hosting a CFM after holding the first in 1983.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has opened its heart and border to the suffering people purely on humanitarian grounds as over a million Rohingyas have taken shelter in Bangladesh. She said the OIC must maintain international pressure on Myanmar authorities and make Myanmar deliver on the ground as it agreed with Bangladesh for Rohingyas to safely return from Bangladesh. “Rohingyas deserve the right to life, dignity and existence like us!” she said.
The Prime Minister said having one-fifth of the world’s population, more than a third of the world’s strategic resources and a number of rising economies with immense prospects, the Muslim world has no reason to fall behind. “Development is our right, economic prosperity is within our reach, and social progress is within our means. We must redesign our strategy of joint Islamic action,” she said.
In this context, she focused on five points before the OIC Foreign Ministers. Firstly, to have trust in the basic Islamic faith and remove sectarian mindset and stop the use of religion as a tool for divisive purposes or narrow political ends.
Secondly, the OIC members should politically resolve their issues without giving any of its detractors any scope for interference and intervention. Thirdly, to live an enlightened life of self-awareness. Fourthly, to pursue a fast-track development course with bold OIC programmes to eliminate poverty and hunger and address humanitarian exigencies.
The OIC members should pursue collective actions to implement the OIC-2025 Programme of Action. Finally, it should constantly seek inspiration and strength from the eternal values of Islam- peace, moderation, fraternity, equality, justice and compassion. “Let’s make a resolve to put our strength and courage together and protect our values, wealth and civilization. Let’s spread a message of understanding and peace,” she said.
Hasina also said she believes that all the differences of opinion and views that exist in the Islamic world can be resolved by open-minded discussions and dialogue. “Bloodshed is unnecessary and indeed counter-productive.”
She mentioned that the vision of the Islamic world should be one to be master of its own resources and capable of resolving all of our conflicts and problems by ourselves. “For lasting solutions to come from within, we require a comprehensively reformed OIC with new mechanisms, and ways and means to deliver in a result-oriented manner.”