UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan Wednesday urged the international community to act to stop Israel’s unilateral strikes in the Palestinian occupied territores, saying the violence in the region had erupted because of the failure of the peace process.
“We call on the international community to intercede to end this cycle of violence and bring about a cessation of unilateral Israeli strikes that indiscriminately kill Palestinians — men, women and children,” Ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, told the Palestinian Rights Committee, which held a special meeting to mark the 10th anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory ruling declaring illegal Israel’s construction of a separation wall in the West Bank.
Voicing deep concern over the “precarious” situation in occupied Palestinians territory, he condemned the “brazen” violence by the occupying authorities and the collective punishment being meted out to the Palestinian people.
He reiterated Pakistan’s support for a two-state solution, which paves the way for a viable, geographically contiguous Palestinian state, created on the basis of pre-1967 borders, with Al Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
In this context, the Pakistani envoy called for the resumption of peace negotiations that should be pursued in earnest.
He also called for a speedy and impartial investigation into the brutal killing of the Palestinian youth, the 16 year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir by Israeli zealots, saying the perpetrators should immediately be brought to justice.
Masood Khan called for the dismantling of the separation wall, as stated in ICJ’s advisory opinion. “The Israeli expansionist wall being constructed deep inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory is illegal, plain and simple,” he said. “Its construction must be immediately halted and the constructed part dismantled.
“Israel must implement UN General Assembly resolution that demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations as mentioned in the advisory opinion on the wall.”
Meanwhile, a high-level UN panel was told that Pakistan is stepping up efforts to achieve the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals - a set of time-bound targets agreed on by heads of state in 2000 - despite being hampered by security concerns, the fight against terrorism and natural disasters.
Marriyum Aurangzeb, a member of the National Assembly, said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government was focusing on transition from MDGs to an inclusive agenda for sustainable development by adopting a strategy aimed at improving the people’s lives, especially in health, education, socio-economic sectors.
In this regard, Aurangzeb, who is also the National Convener of the Parliamentary Task Force on MGDs, said a wide ranging dialogue has been initiated at national and provicial levels as well as with civil society, media policy experts and corporate sector to accomplish the objectives.
She said the Parliamentary Task force on MDGs was constituted at national and provincial levels, with 94 legislators representing all Pakistani political parties and regions to play a role in producing the necessary legislation and to oversee MDGs acceleration, transitioning from MDGs to Sustainable Development Goals and their implementation in Pakistan.
Aurangzeb said the present government’s emphasis was on prioritizing investment in data measurement and management, institutional capacities, and for distribution of resources to provinces as it works towards ushering in economic prosperity.
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