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Pakistan Welcomes Gaza Ceasefire: Shah Mehmood Qureshi

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo. Fabrice Coffrini—AFP

Foreign minister says he is convinced ‘tide is turning’ against Israeli narrative globally

Pakistan on Friday welcomed the announcement of a ceasefire in Gaza following 11 days of brutal Israeli airstrikes that left at least 232 Palestinians dead and nearly 2,000 others injured.

“Pakistan welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Twitter. “This is the power of collective, unified action; this is the effort of every person and every nation, together for a just cause,” he said, adding that he hoped for this détente to be the first step toward lasting peace in Palestine.

“Israel’s occupation of Palestine must end and illegal settlements and apartheid like regime imposed in the occupied territories must be dismantled,” he stressed. “Implementation of U.N. resolution for establishment of independent and contiguous Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al Sharif as its capital, imperative,” he added.

The foreign minister is currently in New York, where he joined the foreign ministers of Turkey, Palestine and Tunis in attending an emergency session of United Nations General Assembly convened on the Palestine crisis.

Media war

Earlier, in an interview with CNN, Qureshi claimed the “tide was turning” against Israel globally, as it was losing the media narrative. “I am convinced, the tide is turning. I am convinced the public pressure, the pressure of public opinion mounting and ceasefire is inevitable. Israel is losing out. They are losing the media war despite their connections,” he said.

Explaining what he meant by “connections,” the foreign minister alleged that Israel’s “deep pockets” allowed it to wield considerable influence over global media. The statement has drawn some criticism over its perceived anti-Semitic connotations.

Qureshi stressed during the interview that the only solution to the persistent crisis was a two-state solution in line with U.N. Security Council resolutions. “This insanity must come to an end. We must promote dialogue. We must sit and talk and we must promote peace,” he said, and cited the issue of India-held Kashmir, claiming it also was receiving due coverage by the international press.

“Look at the atrocities that have been committed in Kashmir. Does the world talk about it? How many people have talked about it? Let’s be fair. Let’s have a fair assessment or how much coverage have that got,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is marking Friday (May 21) as “Palestine Day” to show solidarity with the oppressed people of the occupied territories. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed authorities to organize state-level protests against the Israeli atrocities across Pakistan.

Israel-Hamas ceasefire

A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, brokered by Egypt, came into force early Friday, prompting widespread celebrations in Gaza, which has borne the brunt of the latest airstrikes. At least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, have been killed in the past 11 days, with health officials in Gaza saying around 1,900 others have been injured.

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