Pakistan joins OIC FMs call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Islamabad: Pakistan Thursday joined call of the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and cessation of Israeli aggression in Gaza and the provision of unimpeded and adequate humanitarian, medical and relief aid, provision of water and electricity, and the opening of humanitarian corridors to deliver urgent aid.

Speaking during the weekly press briefing, the Foreign Office Spokesperson said, “As we move towards the holy month of Ramazan, we call for urgent relief to the people of Palestine and unrestricted access to Palestinians to pray in the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

She said, “Pakistan welcomes the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held yesterday in Jeddah and supports its strong condemnation of the unprecedented Israeli aggression against civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip and the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

“The CFM has held the occupying power, fully responsible for the ongoing genocide of civilians in Gaza.”

The Spokesperson said, Pakistan had sent six shipments of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza.

“While five of them went through, the Rafah crossing, one was air dropped, with the help of Jordanian authorities. Our assistance has been in the form of medicines, tents and food for the people of Gaza.”

“The issue is not of the availability or lack of availability of humanitarian assistance. The issue is that the humanitarian assistance that the international community wishes to send to the people of Gaza is not reaching them because of the siege of Gaza and the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities. We urge the United Nations Security Council to play its mandated role under the UN Charter and take action so that there is ceasefire in Gaza and the siege is lifted and humanitarian aid flows into Gaza,” she explained.

She said, “As the world celebrates International Women’s Day tomorrow, we would like to remember the strong women of Kashmir who have faced the brunt of Indian atrocities in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. They have endured widespread devastation and confronted obstacles that impede their access to essential needs and their capacity to lead a dignified life.”

“The Kashmiri women widowed and orphaned because of fake encounters by Indian forces do not even get time to mourn for their dead husbands and fathers and are forced to become the sole breadwinners for their families. Women heading households face additional difficulties in the society and face hurdles in finding respectable jobs,” she added.

Women activists including Hurriyat leaders; Aasiya Andrabi, Naheeda Nasreen and Fehmeeda Sofi remain incarcerated in different jails of IIOJK and India, she mentioned.

The Spokesperson said, the Kashmiri women deserved to live their lives as they choose and enjoy their rights and freedom including the right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

She said Pakistan will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to our Kashmiri brothers and sisters for the just and peaceful settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions.

She told that Pakistan and Tanzania will hold the inaugural session of Pakistan-Tanzania Bilateral Political Consultations in Dares Salam on 12 March 2024. Additional Foreign Secretary (Africa), Ambassador Shehryar Akbar will lead the Pakistan delegation while the Tanzanian delegation will be led by Director Asia and Australasia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & East African Cooperation, Ambassador Salvatore Mbilinyi.

She said, “Pakistan and Tanzania enjoy close and cordial relations underpinned by mutual respect and confidence. Tanzania is a key trading partner of Pakistan in the African continent. Initiation of the Bilateral Political Consultations is in keeping with our mutual desire to upgrade the bilateral relationship.”

The BPC will serve as an important institutional framework for engagement and dialogue between Pakistan and Tanzania. The two sides will discuss all aspects of bilateral relations, explore new avenues of cooperation and discuss regional and global developments.