Muslim nations call for making Middle East a WMDs-free zone

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has unanimously passed a resolution calling for making the Middle East a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), particularly nuclear weapons.

The resolution was tabled by Iran during the 13th session of Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) held in Tehran between January 13-17, 2018 and attended by 48 countries, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia.

With all eyes on the apprehensions strongly voiced by US President Donald Trump against the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers in which the West has promised to ease sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt in Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapon, the resolution urges all concerned parties to uphold the agreement and honour the obligations and commitments stated therein.

It condemned “illegal hostile sanctions imposed by the US president against Iran to undermine the nuclear deal.”

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According to Pakistan’s delegation to the PUIC, led by National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, it was a symbolic move to emphasise Iran’s sincerity in enriching uranium for nuclear programme for peaceful purposes.

The resolution called for “right of all countries to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes” in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The same resolution also rejected “continuous growth” of Israel’s nuclear capabilities and its threat.

Earlier this month, Iran’s foreign ministry stated that the Islamic republic will never give in to pressure from the United States to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal after Trump threatened to withdraw from the landmark pact unless US Congress and European allies fixed the alleged “disastrous flaws”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s delegation, comprising of Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, who attended on special invitation, along with Secretary and Joint-Secretary of NA, and members of parliament raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at the PUIC.

“We raised the issue of atrocities committed by the Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir,” MQM MNA Syed Faisal Raza Abidi told The Express Tribune. “Every country in attendance supported our cause and recognised the human rights violations including use of pellet guns, curbing freedom of speech and detaining of youth.”

Tabled by Pakistan, the Kashmir resolution was unanimously passed in the Standing Specialised Committee on Human Rights, Women and Family Affairs and Standing Specialised Committee on Political Affairs and Foreign Relations where Pakistan has been elected as a member including the Executive Committee and Standing Specialised Committee on Economic and Environment.

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The committees also called on the United Nations and human rights organisations to urge India to halt rights violations in IoK and encouraged human rights activists to visit the region for an independent review of the situation, added Abidi.

On the sidelines of the conference, the delegation also met with Iranian, Iraqi and Turkish representatives.

The PUIC passed resolutions on Palestine, Syria, Yemen, African and other nations facing attacks from militant organisations.

It appreciated that where US, European Union forces had failed to curtail Islamic State, Iraq and Syrian forces had defeated the terrorist organisation.

The two sides also decide to run 15 regular freight trains between Quetta and Zahedan

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