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Speech of the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Pakistan


Speech by Honorable Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Deputy Speaker
On Situation in Palestine
Tehran, 22 July 2014

Excellency, Dr. Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Islamic Parliament of Iran,
and President of the Ninth Session of the PUIC;
Members of the Presidential Troika;
H.E. Dr. Al Fatih Izzeddin Al-Mansour, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Sudan;
H.E. Mr. Issaka Sidibé, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Mali;

Excellencies, Speakers and Members of the Parliaments,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Assalam-o-Alaiqum,

It is indeed a matter of great pleasure for me to be again in the beautiful city of Tehran. Today I am representing the Honorable Speaker (National Assembly of Pakistan) to whom a personal invitation was extended by his friend, the Honorable Speaker of the Islamic Parliament of Iran, Dr. Ali Larijani in a one-to-one phone call to attend this conference. Mr. Ayaz Sadiq was looking forward to attend this meeting, but unfortunately, due to some pressing commitments, he could not come,. I bring to you his greetings, and best wishes of the people and the Government of Pakistan.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Pakistan and Iran enjoy brotherly relations based on historical, cultural and religious bonds. It is always a pleasure to visit Iran, as we consider Iran our second home. Last time I visited Iran in February 2014, regarding a PUIC meeting. It was a remarkable visit, as I also got the opportunity to visit the holy city of Mashhad.

Excellencies,

Palestine comes today to this meeting at a time when it is tending to its wounds, burying its beloved martyrs – the children, women and men who have fallen victim to the latest Israeli aggression. It is searching for remnants of life amid the ruins of homes destroyed by Israeli bombs, wiping out entire families, their men, women and children along with their dreams, their hopes, their future and their wishes to live in freedom and peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Palestine also comes today to this gathering to show our commitment, that in this hour of grief, the international community stands by their Palestinian brothers.

Excellencies,

Pakistan is following the events in the region with great concern. Our relations with Palestine are based on deep rooted historical and cultural affinities. I may add that our support to Palestine since creation as an independent state and was so expressed by our founding father, Quaid-e-Azem Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who on October 1947, in response to query by a news reporter had observed that “I do still hope that the partition plan (of Palestine) will be rejected, otherwise there is bound to the gravest disaster and unprecedented conflict…. the entire Muslim World will revolt against such a decision…. Pakistan will have no other course left but to give its fullest support and will do whatever lies in its power to prevent what, in my opinion, is an outrage”.

Pakistan, Mr. Chair, condemns the Israeli offensive. We have expressed our deep concern at the escalation of violence in Gaza, which has taken civilian lives including women and children. We have very openly expressed our concern at the Israeli aggression against Palestinians, and expressed our support to calls by the international community for cessation of violence.

I would like to highlight here, that the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, (on 15th July), while expressing his dismay at the situation, called for an immediate cessation of Israeli offensive against Palestinians in Gaza.

Pakistan has supported all the UN Security Council efforts for resolution of the conflict in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions. Pakistan was one of the prime initiators of the resolution permitting the State of Palestine to participate as a member of UNESCO on 31 October 2011. In addition, Pakistan also supported the attainment of non-member Observer state for Palestine at the UNGA on 29th November 2012.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Pakistan strongly opposes the construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land and considers it an unlawful and illegal activity initiated by Israel. We have consistently extended unequivocal and unreserved support to the Palestinian cause, especially the 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.

Excellencies,

Let me reiterate that Pakistan would continue to extend its support at all levels and in all fora, to any efforts for safeguarding the legitimate aspirations of Palestinian people.

Let me say, Excellencies, that there will no peace and no justice unless the root causes of the conflict are addressed. The roots of the conflict lie in Israel’s decades-long illegal occupation of the West Bank, the building of illegal settlements in the occupied territories, the forced take-over of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, and the effective establishment of an apartheid system that systematically removes the most basic human rights of Palestinians.

By taking the opportunity of this forum, we again strongly condemn the continuous Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, and call an immediate end to the Israeli military strikes. We also call upon the international community to come forward and shoulder its responsibility in saving the lives of innocent Palestinians.

I would like to assure the distinguished participants of the meeting that deliberations and recommendations of this conference will receive our consideration.

I would also like to thank the host authorities for making excellent arrangements for this meeting.

Thank you.