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President calls for regional dialogue, harmony to overcome violence

AT-KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani at the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul on Friday said that specter of violence still overshadowed the world, calling for genuine inter-national dialogue and state-to-state cooperation to overcome insecurities facing humanity.

At OIC’s Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference on Palestine, Ghani condemned the recent carnage of Palestinians by Israeli troops alongside Gaza border. He said that he felt compelled to attend the summit to express the empathy of the Afghan people with the Palestinian people. However Ghani said that more Afghans have died in the past week than Palestinians.

He mentioned that atrocities against Palestinians concern the Arab world, the Muslim world and the world at large. “Failure to address it has robbed several generations of stability and prosperity and continual failure to address it could deprive us of the opportunity to replace the unfolding clash of civilizations with a genuine dialogue of civilizations,” he said.

“We are meeting in a time of tragic irony. Palestinian civilians are dying for demanding the right to have basic human and political rights. The irony is that the injustice inflicted upon them is repeating the pattern of discrimination and violence perpetrated against the Jewish people in 19th and first half of 20th century in Eastern and Western Europe,” he reckoned.

The president enumerated that the established rules of warfare, distinguishing between combatants and non-combatants, have given way to practicing of unrestricted warfare; and the scale, scope and constancy of violence has numbed the collective conscience, producing indifference in the face of massive information flow. “Uncertainty regarding the future and the direction of the world has become a dominant feature of our time and the gap between the often repeated values of human rights and political rights, especially justice and fairness, and the reality of destructive change, especially in the Islamic world, is resulting in increasing distrust in the capability of international organizations to ensure peace and stability”. As a result, the world is facing a crisis of understanding and cooperation, resulting in adoption of lose-lose rather than win-win solutions, he said.

President Ghani proposed a framework for political stability be created through orderly change – building on a range of successful examples; mechanisms be concocted for state-to-state cooperation among neighboring states where temptations for engaging in proxy wars and building spheres of influence have been drivers of conflict; drawing on successful examples of regional cooperation agree on building the capabilities of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation as a genuine platform for discussion of our collective challenges and a mechanism for peace building among member states; the question of Palestine and enduring solutions to the Israeli-Arab conflict be addressed through a sustained effort; and a narrative be developed for explaining Islam as a civilization and culture to younger generations of Muslim men and women and launch a comprehensive effort for a genuine dialogue between Islamic civilization and other civilizations.

“I pray that we rise to overcome our collective challenge. The people of Palestine, whose suffering has brought us here, want more than our sympathy. They want our support to break the vicious circle that has robbed them of leading dignified lives. I trust that we translate our collective pain into collective action,” said the president, thanking Turkish President Erdogan for the initiative and OIC for supporting the initiative.

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