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Appointment of new OIC chief okayed

Updated November 18, 2016

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Dr Yusuf Ahmad Al-Othaimeen
Dr Yusuf Ahmad Al-Othaimeen

ISLAMABAD: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Thursday approved the appointment of Dr Yusuf Ahmad Al-Othaimeen as its new secretary general during an emergency meeting in Makkah.

He has replaced Iyad Ameen Madani, who resigned from the position on Oct 31 for health reasons.

Dr Othaimeen was Saudi Arabia’s social affairs minister from 2007 to 2015.

Speaking at the meeting, the prime minister’s adviser on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, said the people of India-held Kashmir looked to the Muslim countries and the OIC for support.

According to a Foreign Office press release, the leader of the Pakistani delegation to the meeting highlighted the atrocities being committed by Indian forces in the held Valley against innocent and defenceless civilians who were struggling peacefully for the realisation of their right to self-determination.

In its statement, the Turkish delegation said that tensions in South Asia were growing due to the Kashmir dispute and called upon the OIC secretary general to take urgent steps — in pursuance of the resolution of the Council of Foreign Ministers adopted in Tashkent on Oct 18 — on the issue of Kashmir and send a fact-finding mission to the held Valley.

The delegation also called upon India to allow such a mission to visit India-held Kashmir to assess the human rights situation there.

Pakistan joined other member countries in condemning the recent launch by Yemen’s Houthi militants of a missile in the direction of the holy city of Makkah.

Mr Aziz reiterated Pakistan’s full support for the defence of Haramain Al-Sharifain and commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2016