Pakistan’s foreign minister met the UN chief to express “deep concern over the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories caused by Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi “underscored that his visit to New York to attend the [UN] General Assembly session on Palestine was an expression of Pakistan’s firm and unwavering support to the legitimate cause of the Palestinian people for their right to self-determination.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that came into effect at 2.00 a.m. on Friday (2300GMT Thursday).
He expressed the hope that this could “help revive efforts for a negotiated settlement of the Palestinian issue,” read the statement.
Qureshi also briefed the UN chief on “the serious human rights and humanitarian situation” in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, “including continued illegal incarceration of Kashmiri political leaders and extrajudicial killings.”
He urged the UN chief to “use his good offices to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in line with the UN Charter and the relevant Security Council Resolutions.”
“Pakistan desires normal relations with India. However, the onus is on India to take steps to create an enabling environment for a meaningful engagement,” the minister said.
He briefed Guterres on Islamabad’s “constructive efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process, and expressed the hope that the Afghan parties would seize the opportunity and reach an inclusive, politically-negotiated settlement, resulting in lasting peace and security in Afghanistan.”
Qureshi also expressed deep concern at the “rising tide of intolerance, discrimination, violence and Islamophobia against Muslims.”
He stressed the need for the UN to “address this challenge, as well as take effective measures against the threat posed by violent nationalist, supremacist, far right and extreme-right wing terrorist groups and ideologies.”
Earlier, Qureshi met Volkan Bozkir, the Turkish diplomat serving as president of the UN General Assembly, and lauded him for “his proactive leadership” in convening the session to discuss the Palestinian crisis.
Bozkir thanked the foreign minister for inviting him to Pakistan.
The senior diplomat is expected to arrive in Islamabad for a three-day visit on May 26.