FM Jilani takes hard line on Israel’s ‘genocide’ against Palestinians

Published October 16, 2023
Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani addresses a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani addresses a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani has slammed Israel for “committing a genocide” against Palestinians and said the grave situation stemmed from seven decades of illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, the minister said Pakistan condemned the siege of Gaza as poor Palestinians were facing unabated aggression and were without water, food and power, which was a “severe human crisis”.

He also said that “any attempt to equate Israel, which is an aggressor, with the Palestinian struggle, is unacceptable for Pakistan.” He said that Pakistan demanded that the Palestinian right to self-determination be respected.

“Israel had committed aggression and conducted aerial aggression over Gaza, which resulted in the deaths of scores of women and children,” he said.

The minister expressed anguish at the killing of Palestinian women and children during Israeli forces ground and air attacks on the civilian population.

‘No change in stance’

Mr Jilani stressed a separate state for Palestine under the two-state policy as accepted by the international community, with an independent state of Palestine having pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

He also categorically denied any change in Pakistan’s policy with regard to Israel.

“We would continue pursuing the same policy as adopted in the past till Palestinians get their right to self-determination under the UN Security Council and the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) resolutions.”

The foreign minister said Israel should respect and implement international laws, the UN Security Council and the OIC resolutions on Palestinians’ right to self-determination for an independent state.

He said an emergency and extraordinary meeting of the OIC Executive Committee would take place in Jeddah on October 18 to discuss the situation in Gaza.

To a question regarding the humanitarian aid to besieged Palestinians, he said Pakistan was in touch with the international community and Muslim countries, but unfortunately, Israel has enforced a “complete siege of Gaza”.

He said this issue would be taken up during the OIC meeting, which would also deliberate upon the coordinated response of OIC member countries on how to end the violence perpetrated by Israel and provide immediate humanitarian assistance to Palestinians.

“Pakistan was ready to provide humanitarian assistance and is in touch with the Egyptian authorities,” he added.

‘Short-sighted and condemnable’

The foreign minister also criticised the Indian government for not granting visas to Pakistani spectators and journalists to visit and watch World Cup matches.

It should be mentioned that earlier last week, the Indian High Commission issued visas to the World Cup-accredited journalists to cover the showpiece event. However, the permissions were granted almost five days after the event began.

The minister called the Indian government’s action “short-sighted and highly condemnable”. “India has set a very wrong precedent and violated the international norms and the ICC charter.”

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2023

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