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Global public opinion changing on Palestine issue: PM says in his Solidarity Day’s video

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said public opinion on the Palestine issue across the globe is changing that will force the powerful countries to withdraw their support from Israel, adding the day is not far away when Palestinians will get their just rights.
In a video message to express solidarity with the people of Palestine against Israeli aggression on ‘Palestine Solidarity Day,’ which was observed in Pakistan on Friday, the prime minister further said, “In the past, I had never seen Western media and politicians criticising Israeli atrocities.”
He said that social media played a commendable role in reshaping the public opinion and now voices from western countries are also being heard in favour of Palestinians.
The prime minister that said Pakistan, since its inception, has been pursuing a policy of supporting the Palestine issue at all forums and standing with its Palestinian brothers and sisters as per vision of its founding father Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Commending the people of Pakistan for expressing solidarity with the Palestinians on Friday, he said that Israel has committed an inhuman aggression by targeting Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque on the night of 27 Ramazan, which is very sacred for Muslims. He said that Israeli settlers forcibly evicted some Palestinian families from their own houses.
Khan said that just after coming to know the Israeli attacks on Palestinians, he contacted the secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and urged him to take up this matter and highlight it at the United Nations level. Besides, he talked to Saudi, Turkish and Palestinian leadership and assured them that Pakistan will stand by their Palestinian brethren in every thick and thin, he added.
The prime minister said he dispatched Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to highlight Israeli aggression at the UN General Assembly session, who did the job well.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on Asian countries to avoid a “great power rivalry” in the region and focus on economic cooperation, trade, and investment.
Addressing the 26th International Conference on the Future of Asia in Japan via video link, Prime Minister Khan warned that Asia “must not become a theatre of tensions induced from without or within.”
“The differences and disputes in Asia require Asian solutions on the basis of Asian values and interests,” he said. “The Asia-Pacific [region], including the Indian Ocean, should become a zone of peace, an area of expanding cooperation and prosperity, through strict adherence to the principles of the UN Charter and the Bandung Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.”
While he did not explicitly mention it, the premier was referring to the US-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue group that includes Japan, Australia, and India. China views the alliance, known as the Quad, as a threat to itself and the region.
Stressing the need for greater global cooperation, Khan said China’s Belt and Road Initiative provides an important pathway for integration across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. He said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor [CPEC] is a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative. It has generated economic activity, employment and will enhance bilateral and regional trade, he added. He said that Islamabad has invited all friendly countries to invest and benefit from the $64 billion mega project.
Khan also reiterated Pakistan’s desire for peace and good relations with all regional countries, including its neighbouring country and rival, India. “Pakistan wants peaceful and cooperative relations with all its neighbours, including India. But India must stop the human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and revisit the unilateral measures it took on August 5, 2019,” he said.
“It is essential that an enabling environment is created for dialogue to peacefully resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the people of Kashmir.”
The premier stressed the need for collective efforts in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. “We must act collectively to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are made available to everyone, everywhere, and as soon as possible,” he said.
“No one will be safe unfortunately until everyone is safe. The vaccine’s supply and distribution must be immediately expanded, patent rights waived, production ramped up, including in the developing world and the COVAX facility fully extended and funded.”
Khan said that Israel’s continued aggression against Palestinians remains a matter of deep concern for everyone. “The international community must take urgent actions to stop Israeli attacks against Palestinians, prevent the desecration of holy places, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and facilitate a just and lasting solution in line with the relevant UN resolutions and the two-state vision,” he added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday inaugurated Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2 (Kanupp-2).
The prime minister unveiled the plaque in Islamabad at a virtual ceremony simultaneously held in Karachi and Beijing as well.
“I am delighted to inaugurate this project that has been made possible with the collaboration between Pakistan and China,” the premier said. “The project will produce 1,100 megawatts of clean energy, which is particularly important for us as Pakistan is one of the 10 countries most affected by climate change.”
The prime minister warned, “Our glaciers are melting fast, our future generations will be up against a challenge if we do not reverse the process at the same pace.”
The PM stated that the project will also prove to be a good omen for the manpower at home and the people to people contacts. “Also, I am glad that it is being inaugurated as we celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations with China.”
“We are fortunate to have a progressive friend like China whom we can learn a lot from. We can benefit from your experience of urban and population management, and elimination of extreme poverty and corruption,” he said. China brought the powerful and those involved in corruption under the law, the premier observed.
Kanupp-2 is a generation III, state-of-the-art plant with improved safety systems, especially internal and external accident prevention ability and enhanced emergency response capability. The plant has a 60-year life expectancy, extendable to 20 more years. It is designed with higher plant availability and capacity factors, and extended refuelling cycle.
The construction of Kanupp-2 commenced in November 2013, whereas its fuel loading started on December 1, 2020 after approval from the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA).
A series of cold and hot functional commissioning tests related with plant operation and safety were conducted, before achieving criticality at the end of February this year. After further reactor physics tests, the plant was connected to the national grid on March 18, 2021, for trial operation and power escalation tests.
The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission is now operating six nuclear power plants in the country. Two of them are located in Karachi namely Kanupp-1 and Kanupp-2, while four are at Chashma, in Mianwali district, named as Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1-4.
Earlier, the collective generation capacity of all PAEC operated NPPs was around 1,400 megawatts. The inauguration of Kanupp-2 having 1,100MW capacity will nearly double these figures, substantially improving the overall share of nuclear power in the energy mix.
Meanwhile, Kanupp-3, with similar capacity is also in the commissioning phase and is expected to start production during the first quarter of 2022. It is worth mentioning that the addition of clean, reliable and cost-effective nuclear power, in the energy mix, would greatly benefit the society and country at large.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government is determined to increase budget allocation for higher education in the next fiscal year, 2021-22.
The prime minister said this while chairing a meeting on Friday regarding promotion of higher education in the country.
The prime minister directed Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood to immediately consult with relevant federal and provincial ministries to identify the resources for promotion of higher education.
Chairman Prime Minister’s Task Force on Science and Technology Dr Atta-ur-Rahman briefed the meeting about use of technology and required resources for Higher Education Commission. – TLTP