Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s unwavering support for the Palestinian cause in a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, according to a statement from the Foreign Office (FO).
The meeting between the two took place on the sidelines of the special session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Palestine with FM Qureshi in New York as part of “Pakistan’s extensive diplomatic outreach efforts to mobilise international support for the Palestinians”, reported the Associated Press of Pakistan.
“During the meeting, the foreign minister expressed deep concern over the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories caused by Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, resulting in over 250 deaths including dozens of women and children.
“The foreign minister underscored that his visit to New York to attend the UNGA session on Palestine was an expression of Pakistan’s firm and unwavering support to the legitimate cause of the Palestinian people for their right to self-determination,” said the FO statement.
It added that the UN secretary general welcomed the recent ceasefire announcement and also expressed the hope that it could help revive efforts for a “negotiated settlement of the Palestinian issue”.
During the meeting, the foreign minister also raised the issue of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) and briefed the UN secretary general on the “serious human rights and humanitarian situation in IoK including continued illegal incarceration of the Kashmiri political leaders and extra-judicial killings”.
“The foreign minister said that the re-initiation of the 2003 ceasefire understanding between Pakistan and India along the Line of Control was a welcome step. Pakistan desired normal relations with India. However, the onus was on India to take steps to create an enabling environment for a meaningful engagement,” said the statement.
He also urged the UN Secretary General to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in line with the UN charter and the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
Qureshi further highlighted Pakistan’s constructive efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process and expressed his hope that “the Afghan parties would seize the opportunity and reach an inclusive, politically-negotiated settlement, resulting in lasting peace and security in Afghanistan.”
The issue of the rising tide of intolerance, discrimination, violence and Islamophobia against Muslims was also addressed during the meeting between the two and the foreign minister stressed the need for the relevant UN bodies to address the challenge.
He additionally called for effective measures to be taken against the “threat posed by violent nationalist, supremacist, far-right and extreme right wing terrorist groups and ideologies.”