Pakistan Supports Malaysian Islamic Alliance Sans Saudi, UAE

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi reaffirmed that Islamabad fully endorsed the Perdana Dialogue, a brain-child of Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammad to bring five Islamic nations together to achieve socio-economic development.

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Addressing the second Kuala Lumpur Summit Ministerial Meeting in Doha, Qureshi said that the hurdles of governance, development, climate change, terrorism and rising Islamophobia, warranted an integrated and comprehensive response.

The ministerial meeting comprising Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Qatar and the host, Malaysia, are participating in the capital of Qatar – Doha, precedes the key summit to be held in Kuala Lumpur from December 18 to 21.

The so-called Islamic alliance of five nations excludes the Middle East superpowers and oil-rich nations like Saudi Arabia and the UAE and even the traditional arch-foe in the region, Iran.

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The seven areas of focus of the summit are development and sovereignty; integrity and good governance; culture and identity; justice and freedom; peace, security and defence, trade and investment and technology and internet governance.

Qureshi said with the advent of globalisation, causing a civilisational and cultural corrosion, it was crucial for the Islamic nations to tread carefully.
“We must not only make sure that we are not left behind but are able to preserve our unique civilisational identity, cultural personality and national sovereignty,” he said.

Qureshi said Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Iran and Turkey accounted for nearly 50% of the total GDP, 37% each of natural gas production and population, and 18% of the total area of the Islamic world.

For the nations situated in close proximity to the strategic maritime points of the world – i.e. the Straits of Malacca, Gulf of Oman, Strait of Hormuz, and the Bosphorus, there is enormous scope for common development and shared prosperity, he said.

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While outlining the future course of the Perdana Dialogue, Qureshi emphasised the need for being mindful of the perceptions and perspectives of the partners inside and outside of the Muslim world.

The Pakistani FM endorsed the statement of Malaysian PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad that “we are not here to challenge any existing organisation or directing our cooperation against any third party”. The ‘Perdana Dialogue’, he said would not just be a think-tank or a forum for discussions, but would also allow the participating countries to undertake concrete projects for collaboration.