November 10, 2023
ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Thursday called for holding Israel accountable for its aggression in the besieged Gaza Strip, saying that the “incessant and lethal” bombardment of the Palestinian enclave was “deplorable”.
He passed these remarks during an address at the 16th Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) Summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
On October 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza and killed 1,400 Israelis, according to officials, while also taking more than 200 hostages. In retaliation, Israel blockaded the strip and launched a brutal assault, which has since killed more than 10,000 Palestinians, mostly children.
In the most recent development, Israel has ordered Gazans to evacuate to the south of the coastal strip, which has been termed as “reminiscent of Nakba” by the United Nations.
Speaking at the summit today, PM Kakar stressed Israel’s actions in Gaza called for international condemnation. “This issue needs to be addressed in accordance with the relevant UNSC and OIC resolutions,” he said.
“I urge all ECO member states to push for a ceasefire in Gaza, support the call for the provision of humanitarian assistance and rally efforts to hold Israel to account,” he stated.
Kakar lamented the bombing of hospitals and the killing of innocent civilians in the besieged enclave. “Pharaoh on the advent of Moses’ birth killed children and now, unfortunately, the people who claim to be the followers of Moses are following the footpath of pharaoh,” he said.
The PM reiterated that Pakistan strongly condemned these actions and stressed the need for a humanitarian corridor to help the defenceless people of Palestine.
During his speech, Kakar also highlighted the Indian atrocities inflicted on the people of held Kashmir.
He added that growing intolerance, violence and xenophobia were threatening the region and needed to be addressed. “I urge the ECO member states and the international community to work together to build political and legal deterrence against the rise of Islamophobia while fostering mutual respect, interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence,” the prime minister said.
Talking about the ECO summit, Kakar said it was important to realise the goals and objections of the organisation to achieve its goals. The region if well-connected, he continued, could bring colossal economic and peace dividends.
Kakar, Azerbaijan president pledge to address Islamophobia
Earlier in the day, the premier said he held a “constructive interaction” with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and pledged they would address global issues like Islamophobia and climate change together.
“Constructive interaction with President of Azerbaijan on sidelines of ECO Summit 2023. Our trade, defence, and energy ties are growing,” he said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
“The launch of direct AZAL flights will bolster our connectivity. Together, we address global issues like Islamophobia and climate change,” the prime minister added.
The premier also participated in a group photo session with the heads of states of ECO member countries. Earlier, PM Kakar was received by President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev on his arrival at the Tashkent Convention Center.
The prime minister arrived in Uzbekistan yesterday on a two-day visit. As per the itinerary shared by the PMO, he will visit the shrine of Imam Bukhari in Samarkand.
Yesterday, PM Kakar held a bilateral meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, where they stressed the need for finalising the “Strategic Partnership Agreement” to promote “strong intra-regional connectivity” in the form of air, road and railway transport.
They also reaffirmed their commitment to the early completion of the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan railway project, which is expected to be completed by 2027.