ISLAMABAD, May 20 (APP): Pakistan while reiterating its strong condemnation of continuing Israeli attacks against Palestinian people, on Thursday hoped the special meeting of UN General Assembly will help the international community to end Israeli aggression.
“We hope the special meeting of the UN General Assembly will help send a strong message on behalf of the OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] to the international community to help end the Israeli aggression and to take concrete steps to find a solution to the Palestinian issue”, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri told a weekly press briefing.
As part of Pakistan’s intensive diplomatic outreach efforts to mobilize international support, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qurshi was currently in New York to participate in the UN General Assembly meeting on the Palestine issue today, he mentioned.
The Foreign Office Spokesperson said that in clear violation of all humanitarian norms and international human rights laws, Israel had staged series of heavy airstrikes in Gaza, attacked innocent civilians in and outside Al-Aqsa Mosque, forced evictions, and imposed restrictions on fundamental freedoms of the Palestinian people.
“The indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli forces has resulted in deaths and injuries to a large number of innocent Palestinians, including women and children,” he added.
The Foreign Office Spokesperson said that since the current escalation in Palestine, Pakistan was at the forefront of diplomatic efforts to highlight the worsening situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
“Our outreach efforts are aimed at formulating a unified and unequivocal response from the international community against the Israeli aggression,” he maintained.
The Foreign Office Spokesperson in that regard mentioned the telephonic conversations held by Prime Minister Imran Khan with President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also held interactions with his counterparts from a number of countries including Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey and the United States, he added.
The Spokesperson further said that the Foreign Minister also represented Pakistan at the Virtual Open-ended Emergency Meeting of the OIC Executive Committee to discuss Israel’s aggression against the Palestinians.
During all these interactions, he said, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister condemned the indiscriminate use of force and attacks by Israeli forces in Al-Aqsa and Gaza, called for protection of civilians, and underscored the need for the international community to take urgent steps to address the grave situation in the occupied territories.
“They also reaffirmed Pakistan’s abiding commitment to the Palestinian cause and called for establishment of a viable, independent, and contiguous State of Palestine: On the basis of internationally agreed parameters; With pre-1967 borders; and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital,” he added.
The Foreign Office Spokesperson mentioned that on his way to New York, the Foreign Minister visited Turkey and called on the President of Turkey, adding, the Foreign Minister also met with his Turkish counterpart.
President Erdoğan appreciated Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts and its steadfast support for the Palestinian people, he added.
The Foreign Office Spokesperson expressed Pakistan’s strong condemnation of the despicable act of demolition of 100-year old Ghareeb Nawaz Masjid in Uttar Pradesh, India with the complicity of the local administration.
“This reprehensible act echoes the demolition of the centuries old Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992 at the hands of radical Hindu mob,” he said, and added, “Pakistan once again urges the Indian government to ensure safety, security and protection of minorities, particularly Muslims and their places of worship.”
The Spokesperson maintained that India must fulfill its responsibilities under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments including the recommendations of the OIC.
“We also call upon the international community, the United Nations and relevant international organizations to play their role in preserving the Islamic heritage sites and ensure protection of minorities in India,” he added.
About the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), he said they were deeply grieved on the demise of Ashraf Sehrai, who passed away in Indian custody.
Ashraf Sehrai, senior leader of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) and Chairman of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested last year on trumped up charges under the draconian Public Safety Act in IIOJK, he added.
“Mr. Sehrai remained incarcerated in Indian jail under squalid conditions despite serious deterioration of his health and the prevailing COVID-19 crisis,” he mentioned.
“Like him, a number of Kashmiri leaders continue to languish in Indian jails, with many at undisclosed locations,” he said and added that as the COVID-19 situation in India deteriorates, they also remained deeply concerned over the health and safety of those Kashmiri leaders.
The Foreign Office Spokesperson referred to 21st May, which marks the martyrdom anniversaries of prominent Kashmiri leaders Mirwaiz Molvi Mohammad Farooq, Khawaja Abdul Ghani Lone and the martyrs of Hawal and said “These heinous crimes and extrajudicial killings of innocent Kashmiris in fake encounters and so-called ‘cordon-and-search’ operations continue unabated to date.”
“Most recently, Indian occupation forces extra-judicially killed two more innocent Kashmiris in Khanmoh area in the outskirts of Srinagar,” he added.
He said, “The impunity granted to the Indian Occupation Forces has resulted in the systematic targeting of Kashmiri youth through extra-judicial killings, torture in custody, enforced disappearances and incarcerations.”
The Foreign Office Spokesperson said that Pakistan has consistently emphasized that the gross and systematic violations of human rights being perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces warrant an investigation by a United Nations Commission of Inquiry, as recommended by the OHCHR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) in its reports of 2018 and 2019.
“Pakistan reiterates its call for independent inquiry under international scrutiny to: Investigate the unabated extra-judicial killings of Kashmiris by Indian Occupation Forces; and Bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice,” he stressed.