Monday May 17, 2021
The National Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a resolution expressing deep concern over the increasing violence and brutality perpetrated against the Palestinian people by the Israeli apartheid regime.
The house condemned the systematic and institutionalised oppression and domination of the Palestinian people and denounced their systematic and brutal disenfranchisement, exclusion, and ethnic cleansing.
The National Assembly strongly denounced the attacks by the Israeli regime on worshippers in al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan and attempts to stop the Azaan — call for prayer.
"[The house] denounces and rejects the continuing practice of expanding settlements through forced evictions by the apartheid regime, which are in violation of Article 49 of the Four Geneva Convention," the resolution said.
The house called upon the international community to take immediate cognizance of and action against the ethnic cleansing, genocide, and forced displacement of the Palestinian people; and to establish an international protection mechanism for the Palestinian people.
It demanded that the international community ensure accountability for all past and present grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity being perpetrated against the Palestinians through fair, impartial, and independent accountability and trials.
The house also called upon the OIC to take immediate decisive steps for the protection and safety of the Palestinian people and to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza to provide humanitarian assistance.
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the PTI-led government would never step back from the country's stance on Palestine and Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
FM Qureshi said he would leave for Turkey tonight and meet his Turkish, Palestinian, and Sudanese counterparts there.
He said Pakistan, Turkey, Sudan, and Palestine's foreign ministers would visit New York and raise their voices against Israel's aggression in the Gaza Strip at the UN General Assembly.
"I will represent the voices of 22 million Pakistanis in New York," he said.
Permanent Observer Mission of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to the United Nations will contact the president of UNGA and ask him to summon a session on the issue immediately, he said.
FM Qureshi said the war-like situation in Palestine should come to an end as innocent Palestinians are being martyred every day.
"Even the people in Western countries aren't quiet about it," he said. "Tomorrow, the European Union has called its meeting of foreign ministers to deliberate over the matter of Palestine — given that they have 65 million Muslims residing there, so they won't let them down."
The foreign minister said Pakistan had adopted a clear stance during a session of the OIC yesterday, where it demanded Israel’s crimes against humanity should not escape accountability.
The foreign minister regretted that despite members of the UN Security Council being convinced against Israeli atrocities, the United States had vetoed and stopped a statement on Israeli-Palestinian violence.
FM Qureshi informed the house that the Palestinian leadership had lauded Pakistan's support in the matter.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, addressing the floor of the Lower House, also spoke in detail about the ongoing situation in Palestine.
The PML-N president said he would not shed light on the government's tactics against the Opposition as the lawmakers had gathered today to voice their concerns against Israel's attacks on Palestine.
Innocent people had been attacked in Al-Aqsa Mosque after which Israel's air force pummeled Gaza and destroyed numerous homes, the Opposition leader said.
"Since 1948, the way that Israeli governments and their armed forces have attacked Palestinians is not hidden from anyone," he said.
In East Jerusalem, extremists had chanted "Death to Arabs" and the entire world witnessed the attacks on innocent Palestinians after that, he said.
He said that six to seven million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes because of Israeli aggression, adding that if a Muslim country had restored to such atrocities, then war would have been started against it.
"Today, international media is silent. If another country had killed so many innocent civilians, the whole world would have imposed sanctions on it," said Shahbaz.
Shahbaz further said that Islamic countries should represent people's emotions regarding the Palestine issue, adding that Muslim nations should unite and voice their concerns without wasting time.
He also suggested that Pakistan should observe "Youm-e-Quds" on Friday to show solidarity with the people of Palestine and said that Pakistan should send relief to Palestine through the Red Cross.
"The ruthless murder of Palestinians should stop immediately," Shahbaz said. "Otherwise, history will not forgive us if we do not raise our voices for the people of Palestine and Occupied Kashmir."
Shahbaz, however, praised the international human rights watch for terming Israel's atrocities against Palestinians as "apartheid" — a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South-West Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s.
"A similar situation is prevalent in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir," he said. "I was shocked to hear that the foreign minister [Shah Mahmood Qureshi] said Article 370 — the revocation of Kashmir's special status — was India's internal matter," he said.
The Opposition leader noted the statement "had caused a setback for Pakistan's cause for Kashmir."