Special adviser to help facilitate aid to Afghanistan, says Saifuddin

KUALA LUMPUR: A special adviser to the Foreign Minister on Afghanistan has been appointed to provide information and facilitate humanitarian aid to the troubled country.

Commissioner to the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Datuk Ahmad Azam Ab Rahman will fill the role.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said Ahmad Azam’s extensive networking with non-profit organisations and Muslim leaders worldwide would help facilitate humanitarian assistance from Malaysian groups.

Saifuddin said Ahmad Azam, who is also Global Peace Mission (GPM) Malaysia chairman, had vast experience on Afghanistan.

“This is very important so that we have proper understanding on the latest developments.

“Definitely Wisma Putra will be utilising many sources, but his experience and networking will help us obtain additional information.

“Looking at the prevailing uncertainties, it is crucial for us to keep in contact with reliable sources.

“This is where Datuk Ahmad Azam can help,” he said during the KL Conference on Afghanistan: Re-emergence of a Nation, held virtually yesterday.

Malaysia, he said, would continue to closely monitor the political developments in Afghanistan and build its own understanding to help in the reconstruction of the war-torn country.

Saifuddin also urged Malaysians not to fall into the trap of the Western narrative on Afghanistan.

“We need to have our own understanding of what is happening in Afghanistan, what happened in the past and how to move forward,” he said.

The Malaysian government has called for peace negotiations, reconstruction and rebuilding of Afghanistan to be Afghan-led, owned and controlled.

Saifuddin also said he believed the Afghan people know best what needs to be done and that Malaysia – as well as the ummah – must show their support and try their best to assist.

Although Malaysia has yet to recognise the new Kabul government, he said it was committed to assisting the country with humanitarian aid, as well as to reconstruct and rebuild the country.

Malaysia, he added, would continue to work with the United Nations (UN) and OIC, as well as non-profit groups such as Mercy Malaysia and GPM, to provide humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, adding that the country had so far pledged US$100,000 (RM418,000) to UN for this purpose.

Saifuddin also encouraged Malaysian businesses to look for opportunities in Afghanistan, adding that two Malaysian companies had been invited to do some early repairs and maintenance.

At the conference, GPM’s Tabung #PeduliAfghanistan was launched with the aim of collecting RM1mil in funds to provide food, shelter, sanitation and hygiene kits to Afghan refugees. — Bernama

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