Foreign Minister Qureshi calls for nationwide protest on Friday (May 21) to condemn the ongoing Israeli airstrikes on Gaza
Pakistan’s 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.
Moved by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the resolution denounced the systematic oppression, brutal disenfranchisement, exclusion and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. The Lower House of Parliament also strongly denounced attacks by Israeli forces on Muslim worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramzan, as well as reported attempts to stop the call for prayer by cutting the speakers attached to its minarets.
“[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 Fourth Geneva Convention,” reads the resolution, which also calls on the international community to take notice of Israeli aggression and establish an international protection mechanism for Palestinians.
The resolution urges the global comity of nations to ensure accountability for all past and present human rights violations perpetrated against the Palestinians through fair, impartial, and independent trials. It also calls upon the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to take immediate and decisive steps for the protection and safety of the Palestinian people and to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza to provide humanitarian assistance.
During his speech on the Israeli atrocities, the foreign minister announced nationwide protests on May 21 (Friday) to condemn the ongoing Israeli aggression and express solidarity with the people of Palestine. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had agreed to the proposal and he was calling for peaceful protests with the premier’s permission.
Earlier, he stressed that the incumbent government would never step back from the country’s principled stance on Palestine and India-held Jammu and Kashmir. He said he would leave for Turkey after the NA session was done, adding that he would join the foreign ministers of Turkey, Sudan, and Palestine in visiting New York and raising their voices against Israel’s aggression in the Gaza Strip at the U.N. General Assembly. “I will represent the voices of 22 million Pakistanis in New York,” he said.
Noting that even people in the West had started to speak out against the brutalities being perpetrated against innocent Palestinians, he emphasized that Pakistan had clearly detailed at the OIC that Israel’s crimes against humanity should not escape accountability. He also regretted that the U.S. had vetoed the issuance of a U.N. statement condemning the Israeli violence.
Also on Monday, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif launched his speech on Palestine and Kashmir by regretting that the foreign minister had claimed in an interview that India’s abrogation of Article 370 was an “internal matter,” adding the subsequent retraction had been a welcome development.
Warning that time was running out for Palestine, he urged Qureshi to expedite lobbying efforts to muster support for Palestinian victims of terror. He also compared the situation in Palestine to that of India-held Kashmir, noting that residents of both regions faced brutal human rights violations from their oppressors.