The National Assembly on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution, which, strongly condemning ‘genocide of Gaza’s unarmed people’ by Israel, demanded immediate cessation of attacks and a high level inquiry into human rights violations by Israeli troops.
“This house expresses its deep concern at the brazen and blatant violation by Israel of Security Council resolution, which has called for immediate suspension of Israeli activities and warned of serious consequences for the region,” the resolution read.
The house also called upon the international community to negotiate immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza. “Negotiate immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza, require Israel to completely halt its air, ground and naval offensive, remove its forces from the area and its blockade of Gaza,” it said.
Earlier, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to continue supporting efforts for the resolution of the Palestine issue.
“We condemn unprovoked Israeli aggression against innocent Palestinians and continue to support efforts for resolution of the problem,” he said in a policy statement.
He said Pakistan was in constant contact with the United Nations, Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) as well as Non-Aligned Movement, adding that the OIC general secretary was in Pakistan and there was an OIC meeting being held on August 12.
Prior to the passage of the resolution, the lawmakers held a long debate on whether they should first discuss internal issues or the Gaza crisis.
Speaking on the occasion, Pashtunkhawa Mili Awami Party’s (PkMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai said Pakistan itself had become a Gaza. He referred to human rights violations, internal strife, aerial bombardment and displacement of tens of thousands of people from North Waziristan Agency.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that Pakistan should also play its role to minimize internal differences among Arab states.
“I will request opposition parties and the leader of opposition. We should convey a message to the world that Pakistan gives more importance to Gaza than its internal issues. We should give preference to this issue today,” he suggested.
Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah, who at one stage announced to boycott the proceedings for not being allowed to debate Article 245, said his party had always supported Palestinian people and Premier Sharif should have taken up this issue before Saudi rulers and the OIC.
The AML’s Shaikh Rasheed said Gaza needed discussion and a joint resolution but Article 245 was necessary to be discussed first.
Jamat-e-Islami’s lawmaker Tariqullah hinted at starting a Jihad against Israel. The PPP and the PTI members also criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for not taking up the Gaza issue effectively.
MQM stages walkout
Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lawmakers staged a walkout in protest against Rangers’ alleged raid on the residence of MQM leader Farooq Sattar. Three people were arrested during the raid, which took place in the early hours of Sunday.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2014.