Pakistan, which Thursday joined the majority of world community to deliver a sharp rebuke to US Jerusalem policy, told the UN General Assembly that Islamabad ‘s support to the Palestinian cause remains unwavering despite the threats it received in recent days.
“Support to the Palestinian cause and defence of al-Quds al-Sharif has been a pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said in remarks delivered before the 193-member Assembly adopted a resolution rejecting President Donald Trump’s decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The General Assembly voted 128 in favour to 9 against (United States, Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo), with 35 abstentions, to declare Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital “null and void.”
The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, warned this week that she would be “taking names” of countries that opposed the US, and President Trump on Wednesday threatened to cut US aid to governments that voted in favour of the resolution.
Pakistan, Ambassador Lodhi said, rejected the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to relocate its embassy to the Holy City in contravention of several provisions of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.
“We regret and reject this action and urge the United States to rescind its decision,” she said.
“In the face of this new challenge, where unilateral actions by one country are set to undo decades of work of the international community and defy international law, this parliament of the world is an appropriate platform to send a reassuring message to the oppressed people of Palestine, who have been losing hope in the possibility of securing a viable, contiguous an independent State of Palestine, as well as hope in the effectiveness of the UN.” the Pakistani envoy said.
Member states must recommit to thwarting any attempts to violate the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the ultimate goal of a two-state solution.
Thursday’s emergency session of the Assembly was called following the US veto at Monday’s Security Council meeting on a resolution to the Jerusalem issue, which was supported by all other 14 members.
Ambassador Lodhi said that the US veto represented a “dangerously misplaced” decision, as it attempted to legitimize a declaration that was already null and void, and lacked any legality.
“Through the resolution that we will adopt today, the rest of the world will say clearly and unambiguously that it cannot and will not be complicit in an illegal act,” she told a packed house.
Pakistan has always demonstrated its solidarity with the Palestinian people and their legitimate aspirations, ambassador Lodhi said, adding that the country’s Parliament had unanimously echoed these sentiments.
“We all stand firmly behind the Palestinian people and their just struggle.”
She pointed out that Pakistan had led and sponsored the Assembly’s first-ever resolution on Jerusalem in 1967. In that regard, Pakistan was proud to join the international community once again in adopting a landmark resolution to reject the “revisionist” decision of the United States.
“A viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders and with al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, remains the only sustainable guarantee for enduring peace in the Middle East,” the Pakistani envoy said.
“No other plan will ever constitute a just solution; no other plan will work; no other will succeed and no other plan will be acceptable by us,” she added.