EIR LEAD EDITORIAL FOR MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2021
Organization of Islamic Cooperation Commits to Coordinated Aid to Afghanistan—Now for World Action, Our ‘Historical Mission’
Dec. 19, 2021 (EIRNS)—On Sunday, the Council of Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation met in extraordinary session in Pakistan, and agreed upon resolutions for coordinated humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and measures for economic functioning. Follow-up mechanisms were specified to implement the decisions of the OIC. Attending the meeting were 70 delegates, representing member countries, guest nations, international financial and UN aid agencies. The OIC, with 57 member nations, is the largest such world body after the United Nations. But even so, what determines what will happen for the Afghanistan people and nation, the greater region, and world situation, requires a shift in approach to abandon deadly geopolitics, and launch concerted positive action among major powers.
This was stressed on Friday, the opening day of the three-day OIC meetings in Islamabad, by Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche, appearing in a discussion on Pakistan’s national television PTV, which covered the OIC proceedings intensively. She said, “In a certain sense, to get all the forces internationally together to help Afghanistan is, in my view, one of the absolute, important historical missions. In a certain, I think the whole destiny of mankind is in a laser, concentrated on what happens in Afghanistan. So I would really hope that all the participating and affected countries would double and multiply their efforts to make saving Afghanistan an issue of the whole world, because right now it is. And I think all channels must be used: media, United Nations, conferences. There must be a drumbeat, a drumbeat of awakening the conscience of the world, because I think this is sort of a judgment of our ability as a human species: Are we morally fit to survive or not?”
What is happening this evening is that pledges are starting from OIC nations, on what donations they will commit, for purposes of urgent relief operations. From preliminary reports, the framework that is to administer ongoing aid includes several features. A resolution was adopted unanimously that the OIC will set up a Humanitarian Trust Fund and a Food Security Program. The OIC meeting requested that the existing Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) work with this new Food Security Program for Afghanistan, including using IOFS reserves, when warranted. The Humanitarian Trust Fund is to come into operation during the First Quarter of 2022, under the auspices of the Islamic Development Bank.
In Kabul, the existing OIC Mission is to be reinforced with more logistical, financial and staff resources to enable it to coordinate operations with global agencies and partnerships. These include the obvious UN agencies, from UNICEF, to the World Food Program, and other organizations. A priority will be working with the World Health Organization for vaccines and medical supplies.
There will be support for the Afghan refugees who have fled to neighboring countries, and for the internally displaced within Afghanistan. An estimated 665,000 people have been displaced just between January and September 2021, over and above the 2.9 million already dislocated within their nation. In brief, 60% of the population of 38 million people face crisis levels of hunger, and lack of necessities for life.
The conference welcomed the offer by Uzbekistan to create, with UN efforts, a regional logistics hub in Termez city, to handle the shipment of humanitarian material into Afghanistan. The OIC meeting approved the designation of Ambassador Tarig Ali Bakhit Salah, Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian, Cultural and Family Affairs at the OIC Secretariat, to be OIC Special Envoy to Afghanistan for the OIC Secretary General, to coordinate efforts, and provide reports to the OIC. The Humanitarian Trust Fund is to be up and running within the first quarter of 2022.
It is reported by AP Pakistan (APP) that there was an urgent appeal made for large-scale projects in the multi-nation region, to serve reconstruction and development. In general, this should include energy, transportation and communication projects. Two mentioned were the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India, or TAPI Pipeline, and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) electricity transmission line. Participants in the deliberation drew attention to the importance of the 15th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization, which met on Nov. 28, 2021, in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
The second area of OIC action, alongside the humanitarian, food-aid and anti-pandemic work, concerns creating the banking, credit and related conditions to serve a re-established functioning economy, and for reconstruction. The Council of Foreign Ministers decided, according to the report by APP, that exploratory talks “to unlock the financial and banking channels to resume liquidity and flow of financial and humanitarian assistance” should commence under the direction of the OIC General Secretariat, and the Islamic Development Bank. APP added that, participants discussed “exploring realistic pathways towards unfreezing Afghanistan’s financial assets.”
Here is where the outright clash comes in with the networks in London, Washington D.C. and co-conspirators, which insist on wrongfully withholding $9.5 billion in Afghanistan state assets, sorely needed for government and economic functions. An especially ugly, duplicitous public relations campaign is going on in the United States, where two open statements were issued this past week, crying crocodile tears, asserting that some of the $9.5 billion should be unfrozen, and used to “directly help the Afghan people,” but only if allocated directly through non-Kabul government, non-Taliban, UN or other agencies. One letter was from former military figures, in connection with the infamous Atlantic Council, and the other letter was from a group of 39 Congressmen, either ignorant, gullible, corrupt, or all three.
No nation exists without functioning institutions. There is no independence without economic sovereignty. Withholding the funds, or arrogating decision-making over their use means destroying a nation. This will do the job by genocide, that 20 years of military presence and non-development didn’t do in Afghanistan. This is a moral test for the West.
What needs to be done with the funds, and in general in Afghanistan is presented in the newly-released EIR interview with Dr. Shah Mehrabi, for 20 years on the Board of Governors of the Da Afghanistan Bank, the central bank of Afghanistan.
Our role is indispensable in getting out such policy interventions, along with getting out the truth on the scale of the emergency in Afghanistan, which is being blacked out severely in the Trans-Atlantic media. The Zepp-LaRouche call for Operation Ibn Sina to bring a modern healthcare platform to the country is a call for world action. Shining the light on Afghanistan and mobilizing for what must be done, spreads understanding of the necessity to end the grip of the imperialist foreign policy and globalist financial system everywhere, now in breakdown, and threatening nuclear war.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche ended her remarks on PTV Dec. 17 by summarizing, “So in one sense, I think the fate of Afghanistan and the fate of humanity are much more closely connected than most people can imagine.
• Editor’s Note: EIR Daily Alert will skip publishing on Christmas Day (for Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021) and New Year’s Day (for Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022). The first two issues in 2022 will appear on Saturday, Jan. 1 and Monday, Jan. 3.