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May 12, 2021

Israeli attack on Palestinians: Pakistan backs Turkey’s call for OIC, UN meeting

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan says it fully supports the call given by Turkey that an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) should be summoned to condemn the attacks on innocent worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque by the Israeli occupation forces, that led twenty Palestinians killed and many injured.

“I have spoken to the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Causoglu, who is in Saudi Arabian, that Pakistan fully supports Turkey’s call to convene an emergency meeting of the OIC and the United Nations (UN) on the increasingly dire and oppressive situation in Palestine, against the storming of First Qibla of Islam Masjid Al Aqsa, killing children and forcing evictions, which is absolutely unacceptable”, said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at a press conference at the Foreign Office.

The Turkish foreign minister also informed Qureshi that he was due to meet with his Saudi counterpart and the issue of Palestine would certainly be raised.

Pakistan says that for lasting peace in the region, it once again underscores the need for 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. “Where is human rights? International community cannot remain aloof and should be mobilised as worshippers are being attacked by stun grenades”, added the foreign minister.

During the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia, Qureshi said that Saudi Arabia has an important and huge role as far as the Muslim Ummah and OIC was concerned. Pakistan is hoping that the Saudis would use their influence to ensure that an emergency meeting of the OIC is called.

On reports of the United States looking for neighbouring countries to set up their bases as they withdraw from Afghanistan, Qureshi said that Pakistan was very clear that it would not allow any boots on the ground. “We will not allow any US basis in Pakistan”, he said.

On Afghanistan, Qureshi made it clear that Pakistan was not supporting any particular group. “Pakistan supports the peace and reconciliation efforts as we need peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan has always told the Taliban to remain engaged and give up violence. Hopefully after announcing ceasefire, post Eid if the Istanbul conference takes place things will move ahead”, he said. He also called for the Afghan government and the Taliban to find a political solution as responsibility is now on the Afghans.

While commenting on India and Kashmir, Qureshi said that for the time being there were no formal talks between the two countries. “Yes, we can talk but India has to take up the first step for meaningful talks. India has to return Kashmir its status and give relief to the people of Kashmir,” he said.

Clarifying once again Pakistan’s position on Kashmir he reiterated that there has been no change. “Article 370 gave Kashmir special status in the Indian Constitution and after revoking this there has been protests even from those Kashmiris who had always supported India. Kashmir is not internal issue of India as it is on the agenda of the United Nations”, said Qureshi.

Referring to Article 35-A, the foreign minister said this is enabling to change the domicile rules and attempting to change the demographic balance to turn Muslims into a minority. “We have voiced our concern”, he added.