ISLAMABAD - Besides its regular annual contribution to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), Pakistan has donated an additional $1 million to UNRWA for alleviating the sufferings of the Palestinian victims of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its policy statement in the National Assembly said Monday that Pakistan had consistently extended unequivocal and unreserved support to the Palestinian cause.

“We consider all territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war as being under illegal occupation, and call for Israeli withdrawal to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East,” the ministry said in a written reply during the question hour.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs was responding to a question put by Dr. Nikhat Shakeel Khan regarding the steps being taken by Pakistan on the basis of humanitarian intervention to help Muslims being victimised in all over the world including Palestine, Kashmir and Myanmar.

It further said that Pakistan had always opposed the Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, and all such measures which could change the on-ground situation, including illegal settlements, separation wall, excavations beneath Al-Aqsa Mosque and forced eviction of Palestinians from their homes.

“We also recognise the right of Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, damage, loss or depletion, or endangerment of their natural resources resulting from illegal measures taken by Israel and the Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”

As a mark of solidarity and support to Palestinian people, the president of Pakistan attended the 5th extraordinary OIC Summit in Jakarta on 7th March 2016,” the ministry said in its reply.

Highlighting Pakistan’s point of view regarding the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, it said that Pakistan, as OIC Group Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues in the UN, expressed deep concern at the gross violations of the human rights against Muslims in Myanmar and urged the government of Myanmar to grant citizenship and other rights to Rohingya Muslims.

Taking a serious view of the plight of Rohingyas, the prime minister addressed a letter to the UN Secretary General in June 2015, calling for intensifying diplomatic and moral pressure on the Myanmar government to grant the requisite rights to Rohingya Muslims and provide them the relief, reply said.

Stressing its position on Kashmir, the ministry said that Pakistan extends unflinching political, moral and diplomatic support to the just cause of the Kashmiri people for the achievement of their right to self-determination as was promised to them by UN Security Council resolutions and shall continue to do so.

Our principled position on the settlement of Jammu and Kashmir dispute is consistent with the UN Security Council resolutions, which provide for the final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people, to join India or Pakistan, to be determined through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Pakistan has been availing the UN Human Rights Council platform to highlight India’s continued denial of the right to self-determination to the Kashmiri people and human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. In the 31st session of UNHRC, held in March 2016, Pakistan underscored that it would continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people, in their just cause to achieve their right to self-determination, reply said.

Answering a question, the Ministry of Interior said that approximately, 5100 Pakistani nationals had been arrested by Turkish authorities due to illegal border crossing since May 2013.

Pakistani mission in Turkey has been in contact with Turkish authorities for ensuring timely repatriation of the immigrants after due verification of their national status.

So far more than 4800 such Pakistani nationals have been repatriated, while the due process with respect to the remaining is underway, said the reply.