No regional peace if Palestinians, Kashmiris remain occupied: Pakistan warns

103 No regional peace if Palestinians

UNITED NATIONS, (APP): A top Pakistani diplomat has warned that the Middle East and adjacent regions will not see durable peace while the people of Palestine and Kashmir continue suffering under occupation, and he advocated for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“This oppression of the Palestinians, Kashmiris, and other Muslim populations are a major underlying cause of the rise of extremism and terrorism in recent decades,” Ambassador Munir Akram said in a statement submitted to the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

“Just solutions to such oppression and injustice is essential to defeat and eliminate the terrorism which has spread across and beyond the Middle East,” the Pakistani envoy said as the 15-member Council debated the situation in the Middle East.

He said the two-State formula, involving the establishment of a sovereign, contiguous and viable Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by-side with Israel within recognized boundaries, offered the only solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“The alternative to a two-State solution is an Israeli apartheid State or, even worse, a genocide of the Palestinian people,” Ambassador Akram said, adding that “Even a world as morally compromised as ours will not tolerate either outcome.

“The peoples of the Arab and Muslim world, and other civilized nations, will not contemplate such outcomes. Nor, I believe, would the people of Israel, with their enduring memories of the Holocaust.”

Ambassador Akram said Israel’s actions in the occupied Palestinian lands were grave violations of Security Council resolutions and international law, citing its seizure of land and properties for Israeli settlements; the violence against unarmed Palestinian children, women, and men; the blockade of Gaza; the desecration of Holy Al-Aqsa. Also, he said there was no moral, legal or political equivalence between Israel, the occupying state, and the occupied and oppressed Palestinian people.

“The Palestinian struggle for self-determination and implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions is legitimate; the Israeli repression of the occupied Palestinian people is illegitimate,” the Pakistan envoy said.

“Nor can any equivalence be drawn between Israel’s military and occupation forces – one of the most powerful in the world – and Palestinians armed with little more than stones and defiant courage.”

The perpetuation of Israeli occupation, he said, will not bring peace to the Holy Land, even if the Palestinians were dispossessed and disempowered by Israel and its patrons, every succeeding generation of Palestinians will persist in seeking their freedoms and fundamental rights, including their right to self-determination.

“Israel cannot rule indefinitely over a defiant Palestinian majority indefinitely. The peoples of the Arab and Muslim world, and other civilized nations, will not contemplate such outcomes,” Ambassador Akram added.

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