UNITED NATIONS: Amid escalating violence in Gaza, Pakistan has called for the intensification of international diplomatic efforts for an immediate ceasefire and revival of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks aimed at addressing root causes of the Middle East conflict.
- Masood calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza;
- OIC for commission to probe heinous crimes
- Egypt for probe into atrocities; Kerry in Israel;
- Lift 'siege' as part of ceasefire: Palestinian PM
"Violence begets violence; and peace engenders peace. The relentless bloodshed must be stopped and peace talks initiated," Ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan's permanent representative to the U.N., told the Security Council on Tuesday, while condemning Israeli aggression in Gaza.
Expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people, he described the severe civilian suffering in Gaza, and said that the world could not believe the carnage there could not be stopped by the Security Council, the most powerful nations on earth and the influential regional organizations.
The asymmetry of the fight could not be clearer, but military might not solve the problem, he said in the course of a debate on the Middle East situation. "International diplomacy initiated by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, (US) Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian leadership must be intensified."
A political solution must be achieved, he said, adding the relentless bloodshed must be stopped and peace talks initiated. No ceasefire proposal should be spurned and the two-State solution should be pursued in earnest. "An independent, viable and geographically contiguous Palestinian State, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, with Al Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, living side by side with Israel, is the only way to guarantee peace and stability in the region," Masood Khan said.
He called for a Security Council resolution demanding the immediate cessation of Israeli attacks, end to the blockade of Gaza, opening its border, and release of Palestinian prisoners. "Children and women of Gaza are crying out for help. This Council must listen to their screams and respond," the Pakistani envoy said in conclusion.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Wednesday called for establishment of a commission to probe into the heinous crimes by Israeli forces in Gaza with Pakistan urging the international community not to remain helpless bystanders.
"The international community, especially the major powers that had the capacity to bring peace to the region, should not remain helpless bystanders, or worse as willing accomplices, in this continuing spiral of death and destruction," Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva said addressing the 21st special session of the Human Rights Council.
The session was convened on the request of the State of Palestine supported by Pakistan (on behalf of the (OIC). The request for the Special Session was supported by 21 members of the Council, including Arab Group, NAM and African group.
During the Session, Pakistan made statements on behalf of the OIC as well as in its national capacity.
In the concluding segment of this Special Session this afternoon, Pakistan (on behalf of the OIC), will also introduce a draft resolution entitled "ensuring respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem" that will be adopted by the Human Rights Council.
Speaking in national capacity, Ambassador Zamir Akram expressed Pakistan's support for a just, peaceful and durable settlement of the Palestinian issue on the basis of relevant UN resolutions envisaging a two- state solution including a viable, geographically contiguous Palestinian state, created on the basis of pre-1967 borders, with Al Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
Ambassador Akram said that the Prime Minister of Pakistan had deplored these crimes which were unparalleled in recent history and had stated that they amounted to genocide. He said that Israel's brazen refusal to accept such an equitable solution had been the root cause of the continuing spiral of violence and bloodshed in the region.
He said the disproportionate collective punishment being meted out to the Palestinian people by Israeli indiscriminate bombings of densely populated civilian areas was totally unacceptable and contravened all norms of existing international law.
Ambassador Akram underscored that as long as Palestinian land was occupied and the occupying power, Israel continued to use indiscriminate force to repress the Palestinian people, they had the legitimate right to self-defence and armed struggle for their freedom.
While speaking on behalf of the OIC, Ambassador Akram deplored the use of pressure tactics by certain Member States in order to prevent the convening of the special session.
He strongly condemned the ongoing Israeli aggression and brutal use of force against the innocent Palestinian civilians in the Occupied State of Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip, which has so far resulted in killing of more than 600 civilians including defenseless children, women and elderly.
He said that the use of force and repression would only beget more violence and cannot provide security for Israel. The only solution was through dialogue and the creation of a sovereign state of Palestine as called for by several UN resolutions. Ambassador Akram called for the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry to thoroughly investigate the heinous crimes.
He also supported the Palestinian request for immediate International Protection for the Palestinian people as well as resumption of the conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Egyptian Ambassador to Islamabad Said Hindam Wednesday called for UN probe into atrocities committed by Israeli forces against innocent Palestinian people in Gaza.
He was making his brief remarks on the Israeli attack against Palestinians at an Iftar dinner he hosted to celebrate 62nd anniversary of the Egyptian revolution here Wednesday.
Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai was the chief guest on the occasion while Leader of the House in Senate Raja Muhammad Zafar ul Haq and Federal State Minister for Interior Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman, former interior minister Rehman Malik attended it among many other diplomats and elite of the city.
Egyptian envoy said the UN Human Council should dispatch a delegation to investigate the Israeli brutalities against Palestinians especially children. He said Cairo would continue to take as many injured Palestinians as it could in its hospitals and would continue to mount efforts to find a lasting solution to Palestinian crisis.
Washington's top diplomat flew into Tel Aviv Wednesday, defying a US flight ban, to try to broker an end to violence in Gaza, which has killed hundreds and hobbled Israel's main airport.
Secretary of State John Kerry jetted in from Cairo to Ben Gurion airport, with reporters banned from reporting the trip until his custom Boeing 757 touched down.
He immediately set off for Jerusalem where he was to meet visiting UN chief Ban Ki-moon, after which he was to travel to the West Bank city of Ramallah for talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, a State Department official said.
He was later to return to Tel Aviv for talks at the defence ministry with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the official said, adding that Kerry had been engaged in phone calls with regional foreign ministers until the early hours of Wednesday.
Washington's top diplomat has urged all sides to embrace an Egyptian ceasefire initiative that would first halt the fighting before negotiations.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has discussed with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the ways to end Israeli attacks on the blockaded Gaza enclave, attacks which
have so far claimed at least 644 Palestinian lives. Since July 7, Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip with aerial bombardments with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire, Anadolu news agency reported.
The lifting of the economic blockade of the Gaza Strip must form part of any ceasefire deal, the Palestinian prime minister has said.
Speaking during a visit by the UN secretary general, Rami Hamdallah said it was time for the "siege to stop". His call backs that of Hamas, which has insisted on an end to the Israeli-Egypt blockade as a condition for a truce. More than 640 Palestinians and 31 Israelis have been killed in the past 15 days of fighting, officials say.
Israel launched its offensive 15 days ago with the declared objective of stopping rocket fire from Gaza. Israel is committing "a crime against humanity" during its offensive in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday. "Israel is in the process of committing hideous crimes. Israel is destroying residential areas completely. Israel is targeting journalists. Israel has destroyed 2,500 houses. Infrastructure has been destroyed. Israeli forces are targeting Gaza's medical centres. What Israel is doing is a crime against humanity," he said.
Central Information Secretary Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Shireen Mazari, on Wednesday expressed shock over UN Secretary General's condemnation of Hamas rockets fired into Israel while condoning the Israeli military aggression.
"Ban's statement that Israel had the right to self defence showed that the Secretary General was nothing more than a puppet in the hands of the US," Mazari stated.
She said the UN chief should at least read and understand Chapter VII of the UN charter which defines self-defence and its limits before condoning what is clearly Israeli state terrorism against the people of Gaza.
Scores of students from different schools on Wednesday staged a protest demonstration against atrocities by Israel on innocent people including a majority of children in Palestine.
The children also took out a rally which started from Fawara Chowk and concluded at Local Press Club. The protesters were carrying placards inscribed with different slogan condemning the atrocities by Israel.
Addressing on the occasion, two students namely Muhammad Irfan and Muhammad Ajmal expressed their concerns over the criminal silence of world over aggression of Israel on Gaza. They demanded the Muslim leaders to take up the matter in United Nation and pursue it effectively.
They also demanded of Muslim leaders to forge unity among their ranks against Israeli aggression.
They also urged the people to boycott commodities of Jews. - Agencies