PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the OIC summit being held in Saudi Arabia.—PM Office
PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the OIC summit being held in Saudi Arabia.—PM Office

ISLAMABAD: Care­taker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar reached Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh on Friday to represent Pakistan at the emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the Gaza situation.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Deputy Governor of Riyadh Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdul­aziz received the prime minister on his arrival at the King Khalid Inter­national Airport.

During his three-day official visit, the prime minister will participate in the OIC’s emergency summit. Saudi Arabia has convened the extraordinary OIC summit to discuss the Gaza situation.

Earlier, Pakistan welcomed the extraordinary OIC summit being held in Riyadh on Saturday.

Later, caretaker Prime Minister Kakar met Pales­tine’s President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the OIC summit.

Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baluch told a weekly press briefing that the OIC summit has been convened in response to the unprecedented Israeli attacks on Gaza and its environs, which have posed a grave threat to civilian population and precipitated a humanitarian crisis.

Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani will participate in the CFM, she said, adding Pakistan will continue to play its role to advance international consensus and galvanise efforts for an urgent end to Israeli aggression and provision of relief assistance to the people of Gaza.

Campaign of terror

She said Pakistan was deeply concerned about the heinous crimes being committed against the Palestinian people as Israeli forces continue with their campaign of terror and brutality in Gaza.

She regretted that for over a month, the people of Gaza have been subjected to the worst forms of collective punishment. Israeli forces are committing crimes against humanity with impunity as they indiscriminately massacre defenceless civilians and deliberately deprive them of food, water, shelter and medical care.

The spokesperson said the use of phosphorus bombs and threats of nuclear holocaust are being made against the people under occupation while being forcibly evicted from their land.

“As a tragedy of epic proportions unfolds in Gaza, the UN Security Council must act to fulfil its responsibility to uphold peace and call for an urgent and unconditional ceasefire, lifting of the siege and commencement of rapid and unhindered humanitarian assistance.

Backers of Israel must prevail upon it to abandon its plans for settler colonialism, forced displacement and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. “As an occupying power, Israel must fulfil its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and forthwith end the carnage in Gaza”, she said.

Asked to comment on a White House statement confirming that Israel will suspend its barbaric bombing for four hours, she said Pakistan’s position was very clear.

“We have called for immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities. We believe that tactical pauses in military operations do not provide adequate space for humanitarian assistance to reach [the people] . Nor does it end the forced displacement of the people of Gaza. It is critical that civilians must be protected and a ceasefire must be introduced so that the families can safely stay at their homes and humanitarian assistance may reach them as is their right.”

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2023

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