ISLAMABAD - Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani has said that Pakistan strongly opposed the US attempt to alter the legal and historical status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and the move was a blatant violation of the international law and the UN Security Council resolutions.

The co-sponsoring of the UN resolution on the Palestine issue has brought the US pressure on Pakistan and the Muslim world should realise that.

"Further, there is a changing world scenario in which a nexus among the US, Israel and India is emerging and the Ummah needs unity to deal with this because today it is Pakistan and Iran, tomorrow it can be any other country," said Rabbani, in a statement issued by the Senate Secretariat.

The Senate Chairman, Mian Raza Rabbani, is leading a delegation of Senators to participate in the 13th session of Parliamentary Union of Islamic Countries (PUIC) being held in Tehran, Iran.

The Chairman was specially invited by the Speaker of Iranian Majlis–e-Shura.  Rabbani said that Pakistan condemned the decision to derail Middle East Peace Process in an already volatile and strife-stricken region.

“This move not only defies the rule of law and international norms, but also reinforces the hegemonic and belligerent 'might is right' policies in international politics,” the Chairman remarked. He said that a reflection of duplicitous policy approach was already being witnessed in Asia and elsewhere in the shape of forced regime changes through undemocratic means.

Rabbani cautioned that success of the international campaign against terrorism would be undermined by such regressive moves that only serve to perpetuate and deepen frustration and anger among the affected populations.

He said that Pakistan fully supported Palestinians demand for an independent State with Al-Quds as its capital and the Parliament of Pakistan had also consistently and unequivocally supported the just cause of the Palestinian people.

The Senate and the National Assembly, Rabbani said, in their respective sittings in August 2014, passed separate resolutions expressing strong support for the Palestinian cause and condemned Israeli atrocities.

He, however, underscored the need to make both the OIC and the PUIC more vibrant and proactive in responding to challenges as well as other needs of the Muslim world.

“We must resolve and rise above divisive conflicts be it sectarian, ideological or communal,” the Senate Chairman observed. He proposed that the way forward lied in enhancement of multi-stratum cooperation in areas such as economy, trade, infrastructure, investment, education, health, science and technology, agriculture, energy and defence to name but a few.

The Senate Chairman remarked that twin issues of economy and security posed a grave threat to the peace and harmony of the entire Muslim Ummah and increased security and defence cooperation between the PUIC countries was key to remove the roadblocks to progress and prosperity that terrorism posed.  He said that Pakistan had borne the brunt of the war on terror for over one-and-a-half decade.

Thousands of Pakistanis, military personnel as well as civilians have lost their lives and almost as many have been maimed and wounded, the Senate Chairman maintained.  He said that Pakistan would continue to play a proactive role against this tide of extremism and anarchy.

Rabbani called for collective efforts to root out the menace of terrorism and must not let a handful of extremists and transnational terrorists malign Islam for their vested interests.

He stressed the need to promote the true image and message of Islam as a religion of peace, tolerance and respect for human dignity, rights and freedoms.

Rabbani said that the PUIC could play an important role being a forceful institutional voice of the Muslim world through elected representatives of the people.

He was of the view that their shared ideals concerning peace, development and democracy could be realised through joining hands in an atmosphere of mutual trust, cooperation and respect.  Together, we have a better chance to address and neutralise injustices and oppressions being faced by the Muslim world due to dual standards and unequal human rights approach of the Western world, Rabbani said.

He termed the PUIC a step forward for increased mutually-beneficial integration within the Muslim world as it envisages the “strengthening of contacts, cooperation and coordination between the various Muslim countries Parliamentary, governmental and non-governmental organisations, with the aim of advancing common objectives.”

Rabbani said that they must admit that they had not yet fully exploited the huge potential for progress that the Muslim world collectively possessed.

We are faced with the challenges of war, poor healthcare, poverty and violations of human rights, illiteracy, lack of progress and political transparency, ethnic conflict, and regional divisions, he said.

Similarly, atrocities being perpetrated against Muslims in different parts of the world, be it Palestine, Kashmir, Burma and elsewhere, as well as the seething unrest and violence in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq are a matter of grave concern and a collective challenge, he said.

“We must not let a handful of extremists and transnational terrorists malign Islam for their vested interests,” he added.