As a refreshing break from the recent past, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has strongly condemned the Israeli air strikes on Gaza in the last three days that have led to the deaths of 38 Palestinians so far. It would be recalled that since President Musharraf went on a mission to win over the Jewish community in the US, Pakistan had ceased to be so vocal in espousing the Palestinian cause for which it had been in the forefront right from the time the issue had initially surfaced. Prime Minister Ashraf was responding to a telephone call from Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi on Friday, who had sought Pakistan’s support for the Palestinians in this hour of crisis and for the quest of the State of Palestine for membership of the United Nations. Mr Mursi was assured of our wholehearted support, with Mr Ashraf adding that Palestine could no longer be denied the right to have state of their own.
While the international community owes it to its commitment for peace to intervene, the Muslim countries have a special obligation. This is the time for them to stand up, and firmly, against the Israelis’ untold atrocities and not only condemn them, but also form a united front to convince powerful and influential states of the world that the Muslims would no longer bear with this kind of outrageously criminal behaviour. Before the killer storm overwhelms them, they had better revitalise the moribund Arab League and OIC to pursue the cause and ensure for the Palestinians an honourable existence in an independent state of their own.