UN, New York, November 25, 2014 (PPI-OT): At the United Nations General Assembly today Pakistan expressed its full solidarity with the people of Palestine and condemned the recent acts of desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, attacks against worshippers and the use of weapons and bombs inside the mosque by the Israeli army.
Participating in a debate on the situation in the Middle East, Ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative said that the people of Pakistan steadfastly stand by Palestine in its quest for the fulfillment of its legitimate aspirations for the realization of the right to self-determination and full statehood.
“Today as we speak, our hearts go out to the Gazans who suffered so grievously this past summer”, he added.
Highlighting the dire situation of the Palestinian people, the Pakistani envoy said that the 50-day spate of violence in Gaza over the summer, which left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, exacerbated the humanitarian plight of Gazans who were already food insecure and dependent on aid. Over the past year, destruction, demolitions and forced displacements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem increased by 24 %.
“The impact of Israeli restrictions on the movement of Palestinian people and goods led to the decline of economic growth in the Occupied Palestinian Territory from an average of 11% a few years ago to a mere 1.5% last year”, he added.
Ambassador Khan said that the only path to viable and sustainable peace was the establishment of the State of Palestine based on pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. “Until this realization sinks in, peace would remain elusive”, he added. In addition, he said, vacation of all Arab lands by Israel, including the Syrian Golan, was imperative for peace in the Middle East.
Pakistan welcomed the establishment of a Board of Inquiry by the Secretary General and a Commission of Inquiry by the Human Rights Council to look into the events of Gaza and cautioned that a lot would depend on whether they would be allowed to complete their inquiries or whether their recommendations would be implemented at all.
Pakistan also urged the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to influence the future of the next generations of their states and the region and start talks for enduring peace. Ambassador Khan said that the Government of Pakistan was contributing US $ 1 million to UNRWA and expressed hope that this would help alleviate in small measure the suffering of the Palestinian victims of the Israeli military offensive in Gaza.
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