‘Palestinians need justice, not just peace’

Pakistan’s support for Palestine based on human rights stance, says FO official

Our Correspondent May 08, 2021


Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri the other day 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 selfdetermination and its support for human rights. He was speaking at a webinar hosted by the Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI) on ‘Dynamics of Muslim World & Future of Palestine: Time to Fight Back’.

“We believe that for a 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 full support to the Palestinian people in their struggle for the realisation 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 the Organisation 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 human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” he said, adding Pakistan had always emphasised the need for protection of fundamental rights of the people in the occupied territories, be it Palestine, Kashmir or elsewhere.

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IPI Executive Director Prof Sajjad Bokhari said there is a natural and strong emotional attachment to the Palestine issue, 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 one of the setbacks for Palestinians. He stressed the need for the public of other countries to maintain pressure on their governments on the 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 energise their resistance while bringing together the different factions. He said 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 need justice and not just peace, which can only be acquired through the right of selfdetermination.

He maintained the Palestinian struggle is not against any religion and it aims at justice for the Palestinian Arabs which include Muslims, Christians and Jews. He stressed upon the need for remaining firmly committed 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 proved 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 low on the Biden administration’s priority list, which is dominated by Washington’s intensifying rivalry with China, withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, and the American preoccupation with the Indo-Pacific region, he said. These factors, he added, will further narrow the prospects of a two-state solution for the vulnerable Palestinians.