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Senate adopted resolution condemning US decision to recognise Jerusalem

12 December, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of parliament on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution to condemn US decision to recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel and shifting of its embassy there from Tel Aviv, calling upon Muslim countries to take a united stand on the move which had hurt their religious sentiments.

The House also called for a joint sitting of the parliament on the matter. The legislators termed the US decision a flagrant violation of the international laws, UN Security Council resolutions, specially resolution numbers 478 (1980) and 2334 (2016), as well as the international norms.

The resolution expressed serious concerns over implications of the decision for international peace and security, especially in the Middle East. It called upon the UNSC to take cognizance of the situation and initiate steps in accordance with the UN charter and a number of its own resolutions according to which establishment of settlements by Israel in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity.

The resolution declared that the position taken by US president had exposed the so-called position of the US as of Independent Peace Broker and put a halt to the peace talks and urged the US to revisit its decision as soon as possible in order to avoid the potentially grave repercussions in the region.

It also asked the US to play its role to de-escalate the situation on the ground on the basis of International Law, International Humanitarian Law and the previous agreements and obligations.

The Resolution also declared that all the revealed religions i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam claim their affiliation with the Holy city of Jerusalem however; the US President Trump through his announcement had tried to nullify the religious diversity present in the territory.

It called upon the government of Pakistan to immediately convene a Joint Sitting of the Parliament to discuss the issue and the government should explain its policy and the initiatives to be taken to address the grave and immediate challenge.

During the debate, senators both from ruling and opposition strongly rejected President Trump’s decision. They demanded of the US administration to immediately withdraw its move as it would destabilize the whole region.

Earlier, the House suspended rules adopting a resolution moved in that regard by Col (R) Tahir Hussain Mahhadi to discuss the US president’s decision. Opening debate in the House, Saher Kamran of Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) strongly rejected the Trump decision and questioned as to why the international human rights organizations were keeping mum over Israeli forces brutalities against innocent Palestinians. She said mere condemnation of the US move was not enough rather 56 Islamic countries should boycott the US and Jewish products. The Muslim Ummah should forge unity against the decision, she added.

Mushahid Hussain Sayed of Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) termed the decision a sheer violation of the UN resolutions and international laws. “It is also a slap on the face of the US itself as the country now stands isolated due to its move,” he said. He said only three counties, including US, India and Israel, which had a nexus against Islam, supported the decision. No other country had welcomed the Trump decision, he added. He said had the Palestine issue resolved, the incident of 9/11 would have never occurred. Mushahid Hussain said the Turkish President had convened a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), where strong measures against the move should be taken.

Tahir Hussain Mashhadi of MQM strongly denounced the US decision, which, he said, was a violation of international laws and UN Security Council resolutions. He said the decision would have lasting effects on the whole region, which would lead to war and create hatred. He said the House should be adjourned to show solidarity with the Palestinian people after passage of the resolution to condemn the US move.

Senator Farhatullah Babar said that President Trump’s unilateral move to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel not only violated the 50 years bipartisan consensus in the US and was against UN resolutions but it also sought to dangerously trivialize the explosive and emotive issue of Palestine paving way for a new wave of terrorism. He said that former prime minister Aerial Sharon visit to the area in 1993 was the catalyst of intifada culminating a few years later in the cataclysmic event of 9/11. The latest Trump move will result in a new wave of intifada and spurt a new wave of terrorism.

He asked whether the recently cobbled military alliance of Islamic countries in the name of anti terrorism fight this terrorism also. Farhatullah Babar said that Pakistan was faced with a dilemma. It had joined the coalition and allowed a former army chief to also command it. The coalition was perceived to be against Iran and Hezbullah, the two formidable opponents of Israel expansionist policies. Pakistan, he said, was thus placed in a situation that continuing to head the coalition would be perceived as opposing anti Israel forces in the region.

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