ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on Sunday said that Pakistan condemned the siege of Gaza as poor Palestinians were facing unabated Israel aggression and had been without water, food and power, leading to a severe human crisis.
He said Israel committed a genocide against the people of Palestine and the grave situation arising out was the result of seven decades of illegal occupation of the Palestine territories.
Addressing a press conference, the foreign minister said Israel should respect and implement the international laws, the United Nations Security Council and the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) resolutions over the Palestinians’ rights to self-determination for an independent state.
He said that an emergency and extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee of the OIC would be held in Jeddah on October 18 to discuss the ongoing situation in Palestine.
Israel had committed aggression and conducted aerial aggression over Gaza which resulted in the deaths of scores of women and children, he said, adding that any attempt to equate Israel, an aggressor, with the Palestinians’ struggle for self-determination was unacceptable.
Foreign Minister Jilani further stressed a separate status of Palestine under the two-state policy as accepted by the international community with an independent state of Palestine having pre-1967 borders with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
He also categorically maintained that there was no change of Pakistan’s policy with regard to Israel, it would continue pursuing the same policy as adopted in the past and would continue in the future till Palestinians get right their right to self-determination under the UNSC and OIC resolutions.
To a question regarding the humanitarian aid to sieged Palestinians, he said that they were in touch with the international community and the Muslim countries, but unfortunately, there was a complete siege of Gaza.
He said this aspect would be highlighted during the upcoming OIC executive committee meeting in which they would consider the coordinated response of the OIC member countries as to how to bring an end to the violence perpetrated by Israel and how to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to Palestinians.
Pakistan was ready to provide humanitarian assistance and had been in touch with the Egyptian authorities, he added.
He said the OIC committee meeting would make a forceful case for the early resolution of the issue.
About Caretaker Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to China on October 17-18 to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for international cooperation, he said that the prime minister would hold meetings with the Chinese leaders, global leaders and top Chinese top business leaders.
Prime Minister Kakar would also discuss joint ventures with the Chinese companies and a number of MOUs regarding agriculture, health, industrial, green energy and space technology cooperation would be signed during the upcoming visit.
The foreign minister further said that the visit would enhance the ongoing strong bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and China as ‘Iron Brothers’ and would help strengthen the bilateral ties.
“The visit will also provide an opportunity to review the entire gamut of entire cooperation and Pak-China strategic cooperation. The visit also marks the ten years of CPEC and Belt and Road Initiative,” he added.
The foreign minister further informed that the caretaker prime minister would also visit the Xingjian region bordering Pakistan and eight other countries of the region.
He termed the CPEC as an economic success story for both sides and a model of excellent economic cooperation despite external dimensions to certain security challenges.
Both countries coordinated to blunt the terrorist activities and the both sides had expressed satisfaction over the ongoing bilateral cooperation. They had completed the first phase of CPEC and entering into the second phase which related to industrial, technological and agricultural cooperation, he added.
The foreign minister, to a query, advised not to heed to propaganda about the CPEC, adding the railways project was the part of ongoing negotiation between the two sides and had been in the advanced stage and expressed the hope that an agreement in this regard would be concluded soon.
About the expulsion of illegal foreigners, he said the policy did not pertain to Afghans only, but it was for all the illegal foreigners living in Pakistan without legal documents.
He said Pakistan always supported Afghanistan in difficult times and there was an ongoing cooperation between the two countries in the economic and trade fields.
He termed his recent meeting with the Afghan interim foreign minister in Azerbaijan as very constructive.
The caretaker foreign minister said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan had very close relations and coordinated positions and they always consulted with each other on important issues. Both brotherly countries had close economic and defence cooperation and also had convergence on different strategic issues, he added.
The foreign minister also criticized the Indian government of not allowing Pakistani spectators and journalists to visit and watch ICC World Cup matches.
He said it showed shortsightedness and was highly condemnable, ‘India has set a very wrong precedent and violated the international norms and the ICC charter’.
About his recent participation in ECO meeting in Azerbaijan, the foreign minister said the member countries reaffirmed their support to shared prosperity and connectivity.
He said Pakistan and Iran had road and railway corridor network and the land corridor between Iran and Azerbaijan would be another connectivity network that would connect Pakistan with the Central Asian Republics and Russia.
The foreign minister said the people of Azerbaijan were very grateful for the people of Pakistan for their support. To a question about the recovery of fake national passports from Afghans, he said the ministry of interior was investigating the issue.