Abbasi to present Pak stance on Jerusalem at OIC summit

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will present Pakistan’s stance in the Extraordinary Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Summit on Al-Quds Al-Sharif being held tomorrow (December 13th) in Istanbul.

Officials at the foreign ministry told The Nation that Pakistan would stand with the other Muslim-majority countries to counter the US-Israel nexus.

One official said: “PM Abbasi will reiterate the stand that has been our policy for decades.”

The summit will be preceded by the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, which will be attended by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, said a foreign ministry statement.

The extraordinary summit has been called by the president of Turkey in his capacity as the chair of the OIC Summit. Most OIC-member states are expected to attend.

The summit will discuss the recent decision by the US administration to shift the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The OIC leaders will also explore ways to deal with the situation.

The prime minister will convey the sentiments of the people and the Government of Pakistan of the unequivocal support to the people of Palestine, said the statement.

He will stress upon the OIC for a united stance on the issue of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and call upon the US administration to review its decision, the statement added.

Earlier, the United States had warned Pakistan from going too far against Washington on Jerusalem issue as it could hurt the already fragile relationship. Officials said the US was not happy over Pakistan’s strong reaction and had urged Islamabad to “play safe”.

Over the weekend, the White House called for “calm and moderation” as protests broke out worldwide after US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Trump urged all parties to “act in a manner conducive to peace,” White House spokesperson Raj Shah said. Demonstrators marched in Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iran, Europe and Palestine. Israeli forces have killed four Palestinian protesters so far.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said at least 767 wounded people were treated during the course of the second “day of rage” clashes.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Pakistan People’s Party leader Senator Rehman Malik strongly condemned the US President Donald Trump’s decision of recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Malik, while speaking to journalists here said that shortly before Trump’s announcement, in November 2017, 151 nations of the United Nations General Assembly voted to reject Israeli claim to Jerusalem and nine abstained.

He said that all the Muslim-majority countries of the world including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had strongly condemned the decision, and had expressed their timely and just support for Palestinian Muslims.

Senator Malik said that it was a matter of “great cowardice for us that today we [are] together to pray for the strength of the Palestinians, while we should have exercised our power as Muslim [majority] countries and had forced the US President Donald Trump to take his decision on Jerusalem back.”

He said the whole world was talking about “interfaith harmony” in order to promote peace but sadly the US president was hurting the cause of peace in the world and was working against religious harmony. The former interior minister said the issue of Jerusalem was extremely sensitive owing to its religious implications. “This is one of the reasons that despite Israel’s self-proclaimed right to Jerusalem as its capital, was rejected by majority of the countries, when Israel issued a new law in 1980. Many International organisations and majority member states of [the] UN rejected it,” he added.

Senator Malik asked the government to play a vital role in highlighting the issue of Jerusalem as Pakistan was the only nuclear power among the Muslim-majority countries.

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