By News Desk

It is no secret that Middle East is geopolitically as well as religiously a significant part of this world. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism have originated from this region. Three of Islam’s holiest sites are also located there and more than 317 million Muslims are currently living in the Middle East. Unfortunately, it is also one of the regions which are not stranger to conflicts and wars. In most of the conflicts, whether it is Iraq or Syria, Yemen or Libya, we are witnessing that mostly Muslims are fighting against their fellow Muslims.

Speakers of the round table discussion “Deteriorating Middle East: Policy Options for Arab Leaders” organized by MUSLIM Institute shared these views. Speakers included Senator Raja Zafar Ul Haq, Ambassador of Palestine Walid Abu Ali, Amb. (R)Ms. Fauzia Nasreen, Amb. (R) Ishtiaq H Andrabi, Maj. Gen (R) Raza Muhmmad, Amb. (R) Javed Hafeez, Amb (R) Afzal Akbar Khan, Amb. Dr Istvan Gyarmati (via video link), Amb. (R) Younis Khan, Dr. Muhammad Khan, Prof. Dr. Sulcuk Colakoglu (from Turkey through Video Link), Amb (R) Amir A Shadani and Dr. Yasir Malik.

Speakers further said that Middle East is burning and even if the colonial powers are responsible for creating the artificial existing borders, the Arab Leaders accepted those decisions. Today Muslims are responsible for fuelling the sectarian, political and ethnic differences in the region. Although the region has become a battleground for proxy warfare amongst world powers, the responsibility nonetheless lies with regional countries who have invited and facilitated the international players for such warfare.

Speakers highlighted contributing factors to the issue i.e. sectarian divide, Saudi-Iran Scenario, growing ethnicity, effects of Iran-Iraq war, Arab Spring, and the fight for the resources, especially for oil. US is gaining each day due to petro-dollar influence. Palestine issue is the most fundamental to the current turmoil of Middle East. There will be no durable peace in the region unless the Palestine issue is resolved.

We have to realise that these conflicts will result in a defeat for the Muslim Ummah as a whole. World powers are fighting to reshape politics and geography of the region for their own interests. In this situation, Arab leaders need to realise that regional interests are different from that of international players. The solution lies in regional harmony while analysing the situation in broader perspective. Continued turmoil in Middle East will ultimately be a loss for Muslims.

Plight of refugees is critical. Islamic countries should establish a fund to help countries hosting refugees and support them in providing refugees with basic necessities of life. Domestic and regional integration is inevitable for peace in the Middle East. Pakistan should stick to its policy of non-intervention. Sincerity of Muslim leadership and adoption of Islamic economic system is the only way forward for the solution of this burning issue. Pakistan government should invite gulf countries while allowing them to share their potential in China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC). Economic cooperation among regional countries and interdependency can bring peace in the region.

Emerging challenges require the need that we should promote moderate and peaceful image of Islam. Although, UN charter prohibits foreign interference yet we should be ready to counter foreign interference in any form. In this respect, our focus should be on our younger generation if we want to secure our future. Youth should think and act independently.

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