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ISTANBUL: A sovereign homeland for the Palestinian people with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital remains the only roadmap for the Muslim Ummah and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Wednesday.
Speaking at an extraordinary OIC summit called by the Turkish president to discuss the recent decision by the United States to shift its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he termed it a blatant attempt to set in motion steps to change the historic and lawful status of the holy city.
“We are at a watershed moment again. The question in every Muslim mind today would be whether we can rise above our differences, stand united and give hope to our people, or once again adopt declarations which cannot be translated into effective actions,” the prime minister told the gathering of heads of state and government of at least 26 Muslim countries.
He urged the US to rescind the decision, fully comply with all applicable United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and recommit unequivocally to the two-state solution.
“On behalf of the people and government of Pakistan, I wish to reiterate our strong condemnation of this decision,” he said, adding that the international community had the opportunity to uphold the principles of justice and rule of law.
He said the UNSC’s credibility would be questioned if it did not live up to its primary role in maintaining international peace and security.
The prime minister recalled that both Houses of Pakistan’s Parliament had unanimously echoed these sentiments and said “we all stand firmly behind the Palestinian people and their just struggle”.
Together with the OIC and the Muslim world, Pakistan had always demonstrated its solidarity with the Palestinian people and their legitimate aspirations for a promised homeland, he said. “Pakistan is proud to have piloted resolutions in the UN Security Council as chair of OIC, including Resolutions 476 and 478,” he added.
Pakistan renewed its call for establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous state of Palestine on the basis of international parameters, pre-1967 borders and with Al-Quds as its capital.
Prime Minister Abbasi said the Muslim leaders needed serious introspection and reflection on “how we have come to this pass” and “what should be our response?”
“The fact is that we have not given concrete shape to our expressions of solidarity and unity,” he said and added that it had been true not only for Palestine but for other common causes also.
He said the world was a witness to a similar pattern of tragedy, both in scope and scale — for 70 years, the people of Jammu and Kashmir had been subjected to illegal Indian occupation and blatant violation of their fundamental rights, including their right to self-determination. Here too, UNSC resolutions continued to be defied and the just struggle for freedom conveniently branded as terrorism, he added.
The prime minister said another reason for the situation the Muslim world found itself in was that “we are not writing enough, producing enough. Without rectifying our political, economic, communication and technological weaknesses we will be unable to mount a sustained defence of our brethren whether in Palestine or Kashmir.”
He said it was this increasing disarray that had allowed the US to take the deeply troubling decision to shift its embassy to Jerusalem. “Should we accept this as fait accompli? We hope that a few demonstrations of rage would not dissipate in passive acceptance of the status quo.” He said the Ummah must urgently overcome its political differences.
The prime minister suggested that if the UNSC was unable to respond, “we should garner support in the UNGA (UN General Assembly),” OIC decisions for economic actions to change the behaviour of the occupying forces should be followed up and the International Court of Justice’s opinion on the issue should be sought.
Ref: The Express Tribune