ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Friday said Pakistan played a leading role in efforts to end Israeli atrocities against innocent and unarmed people of Palestine, who had braved unabated bombardment and shelling from occupation forces for over two weeks.
Interacting with foreign media here on the occasion of Palestine Solidarity Day observed across the country on the call of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said Pakistan took a firm stand, mustered support of friendly countries and represented the Muslim Ummah’s true sentiments over the Palestinians’ plight at the special session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in an effective manner.
He said the efforts yielded the required results as a ceasefire had been reached between Hamas and Israel, terming it a ‘success’ of Pakistan and its friendly countries’ sincere efforts to mitigate the sufferings of the Palestinians.
He said Pakistan’s response to the Israeli aggression was ‘unequivocal,’ as it instantly reached out to the international community urging them to play a constructive role in stopping the killings of innocent Palestinians.
Sharing some efforts of the government in defusing the tension, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan had met the Secretary-General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Makkah (Saudi Arabia) and made telephonic contacts with the Saudi King, and Palestinian and Turkish presidents.
Besides, he said, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reached out to his counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, Afghanistan, China, United States and Sudan, and discussed the situation in Palestine.
Fawad said FM Qureshi participated in the Emergency Meeting of the OIC’s Foreign Ministers and presented the case for Palestine, issuing a strong statement condemning Israeli cruelties against the Palestinians.
The information minister said Pakistan’s National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution against Israel’s actions, supporting the cause of Palestine and the struggle of its people.
He said the Israeli aggression against innocent Palestinians and the sacrilege of Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest places in the world, especially during the holy month of Ramazan was highly condemnable.
Fawad deplored that the indiscriminate and excessive use of force by the Israeli occupation forces that resulted in martyrdom of innocent Palestinians, including women and children in Gaza and West Bank. “Such attacks are against all humanitarian norms, human rights and international laws.”
“We strongly denounce the systematic and brutal disenfranchisement, exclusion and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people,” he added.
“We reject the continuing practice of expanding settlements through forced evictions (of Palestinians) by the apartheid regime, which are in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334.”
The minister recalled relevant resolutions introduced by Pakistan in the United Nations regarding Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially the seminal UNSC Resolution 271, which was adopted after the incident of the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969.
He reiterated Pakistan’s fullest support to the Palestinian cause, and reaffirmed unwavering political, diplomatic and moral support to the brave and resilient Palestinian people.
He also called for solidarity among the Muslim Ummah to support the efforts to resolve the Palestine dispute in accordance with the relevant UN and OIC resolutions.
He said Pakistan wanted withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, restitution of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people such as their right to self-determination, right of return to Palestine, and establishment of an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state, with pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
Answering a question, the information minister said the foundation of Pakistan’s policy regarding Palestine was laid by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and now Prime Minister Imran Khan was its custodian.
He said Pakistan’s relevant departments were in contact with the Palestinian Embassy to extend COVID-related and emergency medical assistance to Palestine.
Replying to another question regarding Foreign Minister Qureshi’s remarks, he said “Suggesting that deep pockets influence media cannot be termed anti-Semitic.”
To another query, Fawad said some influential and wealthy lobbyists lacked interest in resolving the issues of Palestine and Kashmir, and were creating hurdles in their early settlement.
The minister said Pakistan never took dictation from any country in its internal and international matters as it always took decisions independently, keeping the national interest supreme.
Responding to a question, he said Pakistan wanted peace with India, and was ready to talk and initiate trade with it, but India would have to revert back to the position of the 5th August 2019 as “we cannot move forward by ignoring the situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.
Pak-China relations beyond political, economic dimensions: Fawad
Also, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that Pakistan and China are not only diplomatically closed but their relations are beyond political and economic dimensions.
In a statement in connection with 70th anniversary of Pak-China relations on Friday, he said our relations with China started from defence cooperation in 1950 which turned into strategic relations in 1966 and economic in 1972.
The Minister said the pride of this relationship is based on love and mutual respect, rooted in the people.
He said the people of Pakistan understand that China stood by us in every difficult hour, similarly, Pakistan also helped China in every challenge. He said the excellent plan of CPEC is the foundation of each other’s economic stability that would improve a game changer for this region.