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Pakistan welcomes UN chief’s move on Gaza

Pakistan on Thursday welcomed the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s decision to invoke Article 99 of the UN charter, to bring to the attention of the UN Security Council to the dire security situation and the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

The UN chief the other day invoked Article 99 of the UN charter, in a rare move to send a clear warning that Gaza was heading towards complete collapse of public disorder due to the Israeli bombardment.

“This decision of the Secretary-General demonstrates his conscionable assessment of the catastrophic situation in Gaza,” remarked Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch at a weekly news briefing in Islamabad.

She said that Pakistan strongly and unequivocally condemned the continued use of force by Israel and its indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian facilities and infrastructure in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.

“The suffering and collective punishment endured by the besieged people of Gaza is unprecedented and unacceptable.”

The spokesperson said as the UN chief underscored in his letter to the president of the UN Security Council, “civilians throughout Gaza face grave danger” and “nowhere is safe in Gaza.” There is a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian lifeline essential for survival, she added.

“The situation is fast deteriorating with potentially irreversible implications for Palestine and for peace and security in the region. Such an outcome must be avoided at all costs,” the spokesperson said.

“We join the Secretary-General in his call to the international community to end the ongoing situation and avert a humanitarian catastrophe.”

She further said that the UN Security Council must perform its primary responsibility under the charter, impose an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and protect the people of Gaza from an impending genocide. “We call on Israel’s backers to urge Israel to end its barbaric attacks and inhumane siege against Gaza.”

“We also call for an international conference for long-term peace on the Palestinian question. Durable peace in the region will emerge from the internationally agreed two-state solution and from the creation of a secure, viable, contiguous, and sovereign state of Palestine on the basis of the pre-June 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital,” Baloch stressed.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson said the decision by the Indian parliament to pass legislation pertaining to the future of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), was yet another farce to perpetuate India’s occupation and to deny the people of Jammu and Kashmir their right to self-determination.

“Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally-recognised disputed territory, whose final disposition is to be made in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and as per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Any other process cannot serve as a substitute to the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people,” she said.

She said that Pakistan had never recognised India’s occupation of IIOJK. “It has repeatedly rejected the relevance of the Indian constitution to this disputed territory. We, therefore, categorically reject any measures that perpetuate India’s occupation.”

“India’s unilateral and illegal measures of 05 August 2019, and a number of subsequent steps, are aimed at changing the demographic structure and political landscape of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK),” the spokesperson maintained.

She said that Pakistan strongly condemned and rejected these measures as these would convert Kashmiris into a disempowered minority in their own land.

“These measures are also a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. India must rescind these illegal and unilateral measures, provide relief to the people of IIOJK and create a positive environment for peace and dialogue.”

Baloch said that Pakistan will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to our Kashmiri brothers and sisters for the just and peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions.

 

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