UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan on Tuesday called on the UN Security Council to take "resolute action" for the realization of Palestinian people's right to self-determination and the establishment of their independent state,

Speaking in the 15-nation Council, Pakistan's UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon stressed the need for implementing relevant UN Security Council resolutions and resolve the decades-old Arab-Israel conflict.

"We again call upon the Security Council to transform its words into resolute action," he added.

The Council, the Pakistan ambassador said, should ensure mechanism for implementation of its decades-old decisions on Israel and Palestine. "Otherwise it will further undermine its own credibility," he said while participating in an open debate on the Middle East.

"While we deliberate endlessly in the Security Council," the Palestinians continue to suffer at the "cruel hands" of an occupation force.

In extempore remarks at this stage, the Pakistan ambassador pointed out that Islamic countries were so often the topic of discussion in the Security Council that they might eventually account for 70 percent of its work. He then posed the question: "Shouldn’t we get a permanent seat as well?"

"How often do we mention Iran, Syria, Nigeria, Libya, Sudan," Haroon asked. "We wonder and I wonder with them, should I be afraid of being a Muslim as all of these countries seemingly come from that category... So I wonder if we are doing right in frightening the world into religious ethnicities. I don’t think it is beneficial for the Council or the institution. Meanwhile, having said that, I am confident that this sort of scare will not be encouraged by this Council. We will be, as was mentioned by people in various aspects referring to other situations in the world under discussion here in a fashion that promotes democracy, promotes representative government etc..."

Returning to his prepared text, Ambassador Haroon Israel’s settlement activity continued apace, the Quartet remained frozen in a state of “suspended promises” and the Palestinians seemingly had no recourse to address the matter.  Israeli settlement activity was illegal and was systematically reducing the space for establishing a viable Palestinian State.  It was a major roadblock to peace and the Security Council should deliver a firm message to Israel that it must stop all settlement activity immediately and move towards peace.

He also stressed that life in the Gaza Strip could not return to normal without free movement of persons and goods, including those essential for reconstruction.

“Palestine faces a dual conundrum — the continued inaction of the international community and the intransigence of Israel,” he said, further stressing that despite “the clarity of our common goal and the framework for peace”, the Security Council and the Quartet were unable to act.

The Palestinian people had nonetheless surmounted overwhelming odds to make progress during the past two years in establishing State institutions, the Pakistan envoy said.  The Palestinians were indeed entitled to full United Nations membership.

Pakistan supported lasting peace for all inhabitants of the Middle East, irrespective of religion, ethnicity and nationality, Haroon said.  The framework for forward progress was based on relevant Security Council resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet-backed Road Map.

“Mustering and sustaining the political will to implement the framework is imperative,” he said, expressing the hope that the international community would lend its moral and political weight to nudging the process towards the shared goal of an independent State of Palestine, living in peace with all its neighbours."