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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office has reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for the Palestinian cause, reiterating the country’s principled stance on a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and the OIC resolutions with the pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

Speaking at a webinar hosted by Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI) on ‘Dynamics of Muslim World and Future of Palestine: Time to Fight Back,’ Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Pakistan believes that for just and lasting peace, it is imperative to have a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions with the pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State.

He said Pakistan will continue to extend its full support to the Palestinian people in their struggle for the realization of their inalienable rights and for the establishment of an independent state.

He said Pakistan has always espoused the need for protection of fundamental rights of the people in the occupied territories, be it Palestine, Kashmir or elsewhere.

“We are deeply concerned at the continuing egregious human rights violations in the Palestinian Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Palestinian people have endured these violations for over seven decades now,” he said.

He said it was unfortunate that we have seen a surge in violation of the Palestinian people’s rights during the Holy month of Ramadan.

“No amount of atrocities committed by the Israeli occupation force has, however, weakened the indomitable courage of the Palestinian people or shaken their resolve. Let me conclude by reiterating Pakistan’s longstanding, principled position on Palestine. We steadfastly support the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination,” he asserted.

The spokesman noted that Pakistan’s Palestine policy is driven by the fact that it is one of the most important causes of the Muslim world which led to the creation of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); and the country’s principled stance on the people’s right to self-determination.

He said the issue is also important from the human rights perspective.

IPI executive director Prof Sajjad Bokhari said there is a natural and strong emotional attachment to the issue of Palestine, as well as a deep commitment to its just and peaceful settlement because of the centrality of the cause of Al-Quds Al-Sharif for Muslims.

The year 2020 was a year of setbacks for the Palestinians, he added. He emphasized the need for public of other countries to maintain pressure on their governments on Palestinian issue, so that international solidarity for the cause could be maintained.

He asked the Palestinians to initiate an internal dialogue among them to develop a new vision for their struggle that could energize their resistance, while bringing together the different factions.

He said that with the US losing its credibility as an impartial mediator and in view of its declining dominance in global politics, the Palestinians should explore options with other influential countries.

General Secretary Palestine Foundation Sabar Abu Maryam said Palestinians needed justice and not just peace, which can only be acquired through right to self-determination.

He maintained that Palestinian struggle is not against any religion and it aims at justice for Palestinian Arabs who include Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

He stressed the need for remaining firmly attached to Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s policy on the dispute.

IPI researcher Mobeen Jafar Mir, in his presentation on Biden’s policy on Palestine, said the change in administration was met with hope and optimism but it all proved rather hollow and short-lived.

He pointed out that the recent developments have made it clear that the Biden administration is least willing of all previous administrations to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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