Sunday, December 19, 2021 – The world was watching in sheer eagerness, and all eyes were on Islamabad. The 17thExtraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers on Afghanistan was at the very beginning a landmark event for Pakistan. The country populated with over 96.5% Muslims, which does not even make it to the top ten Muslim countries by population globally, had managed to bring some of the world’s most influential leaders together. Afghanistan turmoil finally united the Muslim leaders as they sat together for a peaceful solution to the humanitarian and economic crisis facing Afghanistan. However, Afghanistan is not the only country that has been left crippled by the echoes of war and destruction. In 2019 the Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said, “Sixty percent of conflicts in the world today are happening in Muslim countries. This must be a hard lesson for all of us.” But the real question is, “was that a hard lesson for the Muslim Countries?” “Did we gain enough wisdom to be able to put our differences aside and work for the greater good of the Muslim Ummah? So far, it is a big “No.” What the future may bring is yet another mystery. Through its stringent monetary restrictions, the IMF has continued to downplay the more extensive humanitarian and economic interests of many Muslim states. Let’s analyze the economic state of Muslim countries around the world. According to the international studies following are the top ten Muslim countries by population; 1. Maldives (100%) 2. Mauritania (99.9%) 3. Somalia (99.8% – tie) 4. Tunisia (99.8% – tie) 5. Afghanistan (99.7% – tie) 6. Algeria (99.7% – tie) 7. Iran (99.4%) 8. Yemen (99.2%) 9. Morocco (99%) 10. Niger (98.3%) Diving further into the stats, the share in the global GDP by the above-listed countries is as follows; 1. Maldives (0.01%) 2. Mauritania (0.01%) 3. Somalia (less than 0.01%) 4. Tunisia (0.03%) 5. Afghanistan (0.02%) 6. Algeria (0.13%) 7. Iran (1.1%) 8. Yemen (0.02%) 9. Morocco (0.02%) 10. Niger (0.01%) Once you analyse the numbers, my point will become pretty straightforward – the share in the global GDP by the most populated Muslim states is so negligible that they do not stand a chance of being taken seriously at the world’s economic and political sphere. Some of the countries mentioned above are poverty or war-stricken, to make matters worse. To quell any critics who may argue that the above statistics are only representative of poor economies, I would like to state the economic numbers of some of the better-performing Muslim states. Saudia Arab Global GDP is $0.84 Trillion (0.9%), Turkey is $0.8 Trillion (0.8%), Nigeria $0.5 Trillion (0.5%), while UAE, Malaysia, Egypt, and Singapore all tie with $0.4 Trillion economies and each share 0.4% in the Global GDP. These countries are also in the list of Top 50 largest countries by GDP in 2021, according to the IMF. The above numbers again reinforce my opinion that our economic contribution in the world is so trivial that the Western powers will almost find it easy to walk all over the needs and requirements of the Muslim Leaders unless they are bonded by some serious interest like the need for petroleum products, is a prime example. On the contrary USA and China alone account for 42% of the Global GDP with $22.94 Trillion & $16.86 Trillion, respectively. They are followed by Japan, Germany, the UK, and India with $5.1 Trillion, $4.2 Trillion, $3.1 Trillion, and $2.9 Trillion, respectively. Putt these into political perspective and the readers will be able to identify the following the political alignment of these countries in the global arena. The shared interests between the US, UK, France, Germany, Japan, and India are an open secret. We have witnessed the recent interference of FATF in the matters pertaining to Pakistan’s name in the Greylist, which was quite obviously triggered by the Indian Influence and backed by their allies. The world has witnessed over and over again the helplessness of the United Nations in the matters of humanitarian crisis and violation in Kashmir, Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, and more. Through its stringent monetary restrictions, the IMF has continued to downplay the more extensive humanitarian and economic interests of many Muslim states, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, and more. At the same time, Malaysia stands out as the only which declined the IMF’s assistance and advice. Rather than further liberalising its economy, Malaysia imposed capital controls in an attempt to eliminate speculative currency trading. While the IMF initially mocked this approach, the Fund later admitted that it was successful. This is not to say that IMF financial policies will almost always end up in a disaster for the borrowing country. Still, if a country has financial wisdom and the will to survive, it can alter the course of economic destruction. There is great strength in Numbers! Without taking any credit from the PTI government for trying at all fronts to bring the newly formed Taliban Government and the world leaders to a common platform. However, the point here is that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation is and should be reflective of the needs and requirements of the Muslim World as a whole. Thus far, it has not been able to bring the world’s attention to all critical issues facing Islamic countries around the globe. The recent announcement of the OIC leaders to work in unison with the United Nations is a comforting thought. However, we are hit in the face by the reality when the Indian Express’s Main News reads, “New Delhi has hit back at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation for references to Kashmir. Pakistan has a strong voice in the OIC, but India has strong bilateral relationships with most other member countries.” Perhaps the greater lesson that the Muslim Leaders have not learned here is that there is great strength in numbers – there are, after all, 1.9 Billion of us around the world. If the OIC members states can stand together got the common and greater good of the Ummah – the 1.9 billion will always fall short! The writer is a Special Advisor (Pakistan Institute of Management, Lahore operated under Federal Ministry of Industries and Production, Islamabad) and a Foreign Research Associate.