Pakistan reaffirms support to Palestine: Zahid Hafeez

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We believe 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

ISLAMABAD, Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri on Thursday reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for the Palestinian cause noting that it is rooted in the country’s principled stance on the people’s right to self-determination and its support for human rights.

He was speaking at a webinar hosted by Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI) on ‘Dynamics of Muslim World & Future of Palestine: Time to Fight Back’.

“We believe 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 stated while recapping Pakistan’s Palestine Policy.

Pakistan, he said, 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.

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; and the country’s principled stance on the people’s right to self-determination.

The issue, he further said, is also important from the human rights perspective.

“We are deeply concerned at the continuing egregious human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” he said adding Pakistan had always emphasized the need for protection of fundamental rights of the people in the occupied territories, be it Palestine, Kashmir or elsewhere.

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, he observed, was a year of setbacks for the Palestinians.

He emphasized the need for publics of other countries to maintain pressure on their governments on Palestinian issue so that international solidarity for the cause could be maintained.

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

He said that with 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-e-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. 

Recent developments, he underscored, have made it clear that the Biden administration is least willing of all previous administrations to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Palestine is currently low on Biden administration’s priority list, which is dominated by intensifying rivalry with China, withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, and the Indo-Pacific region. This, he said, will further narrow down the prospects of a two-state solution for the vulnerable Palestinians.