Pakistan expresses its sincere gratitude to President Erdogan and Turkey for convening this Extraordinary Summit on the Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
These are extraordinary times. The Rabat Summit of 1969 on the desecration of Al Aqsa mosque had instilled hope that the Muslim Ummah would join ranks and respond as one, to the injustices inflicted upon the Palestinian people and for all issues confronting the Muslim world.
We are at a watershed moment again. The question on every Muslim mind today would be whether we can rise above our differences, stand united and give hope to our peoples, or once again adopt declarations which cannot be translated into effective actions.
The US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the so-called capital of Israel, and to relocate its Embassy to the Holy City, constitutes a clear violation of international law and several United Nations Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 476 and 478.
It is a blatant attempt to set in motion, steps to change the historic and lawful status of the Holy City.
On behalf of the people and Government of Pakistan, I wish to reiterate our strong condemnation of this decision.
Our Parliament, both the Senate and National Assembly, have unanimously echoed these sentiments. We all stand firmly behind the Palestinian people and their just struggle.
Pakistan urges the United States to rescind this decision, fully comply with all applicable UN Security Council resolutions and recommit unequivocally to the two-state solution.
Together with the OIC and the Islamic world, Pakistan has always demonstrated its solidarity with the Palestinian people and their legitimate aspirations for a promised homeland. Pakistan is proud to have piloted resolutions in the UN Security Council as Chair of OIC including resolutions 476 and 478.
Pakistan renews its call for establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
As OIC, we need serious introspection and reflect on two key questions.
Firstly, how have we come to this pass? The fact is that we have not given concrete shape to our expressions of solidarity and unity. This has been true not only for Palestine but for other common causes also.
The world is witness to a similar pattern of tragedy, both in scope and scale. For seventy years, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been subjected to illegal Indian occupation and blatant violation of their fundamental rights including their right to self-determination. Here too, the UN Security Council resolutions continue to be defied and the just struggle for freedom conveniently branded as terrorism.
Moreover, another reason for the situation that we find ourselves in is that we are not writing enough, producing enough. Without rectifying our political, economic, communication and technological weaknesses we will be unable to mount a sustained defense of our brethren whether in Palestine or Kashmir.
It is this increasing disarray that has allowed the US to take this deeply troubling decision to shift its Embassy to Jerusalem.
The second key question is what should be our response? Should we accept this as fait accompli? We hope that a few demonstrations of rage will not dissipate in passive acceptance of the status quo.
Our response should be a clear expression and renewal of our solidarity and unity. We must also urgently overcome our political differences. We need a concerted programme and common collaborative action, building on our strengths. That will be the only guarantee to resist external pressure and reverse the losses and take our destinies in our own hands.
But in the immediate term what can be done? We would suggest consideration of a number of options. Diplomatically, if the UN Security Council is unable to respond, we should garner support in the UN General Assembly. Secondly, follow up on OIC decisions for economic actions to change the behavior of the occupying forces. Thirdly, seek ICJ's advisory opinion on the current move.
This Summit must unanimously reject the revisionist decision of the United States. Muslims all over the world must stand together to uphold justice, liberty and freedom. We must stand firmly behind all those in the international community that are trying to awaken global conscience.
A sovereign homeland for the Palestinian people with Al-Quds Al Sharif as its capital remains the only roadmap for Muslim Ummah and OIC.
The international community has the opportunity to uphold the principles of justice and the rule of law. Pakistan calls upon the United Nations Security Council to play its role as envisaged under the UN Charter. Its credibility will be questioned if it does not live up to its primary role in maintaining international peace and security.
I thank you.