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ISLAMABAD: Lawma-kers on both sides of the aisle in the Senate Tuesday passed a unanimous resolution in denunciation of the Israel’s terrorism on unarmed Palestinians as the upper house of the Parliament expressed its “deep resentment at the hypocrisy and double standards of various countries, whose condemnation is missing but still talk of humanity; despite being complacent with the aggressor.”

“The Senate of Pakistan is clear that Palestine is facing nothing less than genocide, massacre and ethnic cleansing. Israel is an apartheid state and guilty of war crimes and settler colonialism. Only a two-state solution is acceptable with total withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem and the establishment of an independent homeland for Palestinians with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital,” the resolution, moved by Leader of the House in Senate Dr Shahzad Waseem, read.

“We reject any attempt to equate the aggressor (Israel) with the victims of aggression (Palestinian people) and are very clear, this is not a conflict. This is a one-sided war,” the resolution said.

“Only a two-state solution is acceptable with total withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories including Jerusalem and the establishment of an independent homeland for Palestinians with Al-Quds AI-Sharif as its capital,” according to the Senate. The Senate condemned the crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli occupation forces.

The crimes committed by Israel against the people of Palestine include war crimes, since Israeli planes bombed non-military targets like residential complexes and media offices, as well as crimes of deliberately committing sacrilege of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem, the Senate said.

The Senate welcomed the Government of Pakistan’s initiatives to despatch humanitarian assistance to the encircled people of Gaza and to diplomatically coordinate with other countries on Palestine.

The Senate also urged the international community to take immediate effective and concrete steps to “save our Palestinian brethren from .her anguish and misery at the hands of the fascist Israeli war machine.”

These steps, the Senate said, must include lifting the blockade in Gaza, sending shipments of humanitarian supplies to the people of Gaza, urge cessation of Israeli aggression, sending independent observer teams to Gaza, contributing to the reconstruction and rebuilding of Gaza and initiating war crimes trials against Israeli occupation army for their crimes in Gaza and Jerusalem.

The House strongly condemned the brutal use of force and illegal Israeli actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It warned against the “dangerous repercussions of Israel’s unrestrained and barbaric aggression against Palestinian civilians, as well as complete disregard for the sanctity of AI-Agra mosque.”

The House deplored the “obfuscation of facts and politicization of the situation by a few quarters, creating false equivalence between the Palestinian victims and Israeli aggressors, to justify Israel’s attacks against Palestinian civilians.

It reaffirmed Pakistan’s unwavering support for the realization of the right to self-determination and other fundamental rights of the Palestinian people as well as for the two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders and a free, secure, viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, with AI-Quds AI Shari f as its capital. The Senate took note of the resolution adopted by the emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Executive Committee at the Foreign Ministers level on May 16, 2021 which embodies the collective condemnation of Israeli brutalities by the Muslim Ummah and their joint demand for an immediate stop to the barbaric attacks by the occupying power against Palestinian people, their lands and holy sites.

The Senate urged the OIC and Arab League to intensify their efforts to help the Palestinian people.

It called upon the international community to: a) Ensure Israel’s compliance with resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council, reaffirming the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. b) Ensure Israel’s compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and its Additional Protocol-1. c) Urge Israel to immediately halt its aggression against Palestinian people; end human rights abuses, ensure compliance with principles of international human rights law, respect the Palestinian’s right to life, adequate housing, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and protest, and freedom of religion or belief, and stop forced evictions and settlement construction aimed at demographic change, in complete violation of international law. d) Condemn Israel for violating the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque and Haram Al Sharif, and demand unfettered access for repairing the damage caused to religious holy site by Israeli reprehensible actions. e) Hold Israel, the occupying authority, responsible for the deterioration of the situation and reject the false equivalence narrative to justify the ongoing Israeli atrocities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. f) Establish international independent protection mechanism for the protection of Palestinian people as also demanded by the OIC. g) Ensure accountability for all past and present grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity by Israel through fair, impartial and independent accountability mechanism. h) Urge Israel to immediately lift the blockade of Gaza and allow the international humanitarian organizations to carry out their relief work to protect and assist the Palestinian population. i) Seek the right of return of Palestinians to their displaced homes.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and senators from different political parties spoke in strong denunciation of Israel’s terrorism on Palestine.

Meanwhile, a copy of Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 was laid in Senate by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan for the Senate’s recommendations (if any) to the bill.

Leader of the Opposition in Senate Yousaf Raza Gilani questioned whether the said money bill was moved in National Assembly prior to arriving in Senate.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan responded that the said bill was introduced in the National Assembly on April 1 and was referred to the relevant standing committee.

Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani directed the senators to submit their recommendations to Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 (if any) latest by Friday.

The House would meet again on Thursday at 4 pm.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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