Pakistan called on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to make effort to resolve the decades-old Middle East problem by “establishing an independent state of Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders with al-Quds al-Sharif (Jerusalem) as its capital”.
“A long-term solution would also require the withdrawal of occupation forces from all Arab lands, including those of Lebanon and the Syrian Golan,” said Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN Masood Khan during a debate on the report of Israeli practices in the occupied territories.
Addressing the General Assembly’s Fourth Committee, which deals with special political and decolonisation questions, he asserted, “We reiterate Pakistan’s unflinching support to the Palestinian people in their continuing quest for right to self-determination, for peace, for an independent state and for economic development.”
Condemning Israeli attack on Al-Aqsa mosque, Khan said that such provocative actions triggered protests and imperilled the fragile peace in the region.
He remarked that the peace process collapsed owing to the biggest land grab by Israel with the development of new settlements.
“Human rights of the Palestinian people are being systematically infringed upon. Administrative detentions have become the norm and settler violence continues unabated. Will Gaza be rebuilt to be destroyed again,” he said.
The Pakistani envoy backed the draft of an Arab resolution which called for a clear roadmap to end occupation and restore Palestinian freedom.
Underscoring the need for the resolution to be adopted as and when it is presented before the UN Security Council, Pak envoy maintained, “This will reinvigorate the peace process and rekindle hopes for a lasting solution.”
Last month, the Palestinian mission distributed a draft resolution that seeks November 2016 as the deadline to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
The draft resolution highlights the Security Council’s role in protecting the Palestinians, the two-state solution, rejecting Israel’s confiscation of land and recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. It also demands that Gaza be recognized as an essential part of the State of Palestine with the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Masood Khan described Sweden’s move to recognize the state of Palestine as a “bold and principled decision”, which also recognized the writing on the wall.
“Now French lawmakers were drafting a parliamentary resolution to call on the government to recognize Palestine as a state and the British Parliament had already passed such a resolution,” he said. “This momentum is irreversible,” he added.
The Pakistani envoy reiterated his support for the work of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and welcomed the $5.4 billion in pledges to rebuild Gaza. –APP