Pakistan urges global action for ceasefire in Gaza

FO says Pakistan to continue to support Kashmir cause

ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan yesterday urged the international community to enforce an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end the conflict affecting the Palestinian people. Speaking at a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch renewed its call for holding Israel accountable for its grave crimes in Gaza. “Pakistan believes the time has come to hold Israel accountable for its grave crimes,” said the spokesperson.

She welcomed the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2735 and expressed hope for a lasting ceasefire and relief for Palestinians in Gaza. Baloch also welcomed the June 12 report from the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem and Israel.

She remarked that the commission’s findings confirmed reports of Israeli war crimes, such as the use of starvation as a warfare method, wilful killing, attacks on civilians, forcible transfers, torture, and other inhumane punishments. The report holds Israeli authorities responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity during military operations in Gaza since October 7, 2023.

Highlighting a significant week for Pakistan’s diplomacy on Palestine, Baloch detailed Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar’s recent diplomatic engagements. She said on June 8, Dar attended an extraordinary D8 Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Turkiye, where he emphasized the urgent need for an unconditional ceasefire, lifting the Gaza siege, and ensuring the unimpeded flow of humanitarian aid. She criticized Israel for ignoring global calls to halt its aggression and called for a durable ceasefire, increased humanitarian support for Gaza, and support for UNRWA, advocating for the reversal of suspended donor aid.

Turning to the Kashmir issue, the spokesperson spoke about the 33rd anniversary of the Chota Bazaar massacre in Srinagar. On June 11, 1991, India’s Central Reserve Police Force personnel killed 32 civilians and injured 22 others, she added. “Pakistan continues to seek justice for the victims and supports the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in line with UN Security Council resolutions,” Baloch said. To a question, she said, decisions of the government of Pakistan with regards to issuance of passports and immigration matters pertain to the Ministry of Interior and “we would advise you to seek more details from them.”

On Indian elections, she said, Pakistan has no commentary to offer with regards to the elections or the domestic matters inside India.

To another question, she said, Pakistan and Afghanistan have been engaged with each other to discuss all aspects of the Temporary Admission Document (TAD) system.

She said Pakistan stands for universal and consistent application of UN Charter principles, including non-use or threat of use of force, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, pacific settlement of disputes, and equal security for all states.

She said the Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan is underway, as was decided by the Government of Pakistan several months ago and any individual who is here illegally, irrespective of their nationality, is expected to return to their home country or a third country that is willing to accept them.

Baloch said the understandings reached between Pakistan and China, with regards to various issues of mutual concern including the security and safety of Chinese nationals, have been adequately reflected in the Joint Statement.

To a question, she said, fashion designer Khadijah Shah’s case is under trial and it is being dealt with according to Pakistani laws. “Pakistani courts will make decisions regarding the case pertaining to Khadijah Shah. I would like to underline that decisions regarding issuance of passports to Pakistani nationals or individuals who have decided to renounce their nationality and seek asylum abroad are important decisions. Pakistan will take decisions according to its own laws.”

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