Condemning the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, Pakistan told the UN that a struggle against foreign occupation cannot be equated with terrorism.
During a high-level debate at the UN Security Council over the situation in the Middle East on Tuesday, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Munir Akram, said that his country condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
However, under international law, the struggle against Occupation, for self-determination and national liberation is legitimate and cannot be equated with terrorism, he said, according to a transcript released by the Pakistani mission at the UN.
“It is the suppression of this struggle, which is illegal,” Akram said, while referring to Israeli actions in Gaza.
Yet, a State, which is in forcible occupation of a foreign territory, cannot invoke the ‘right to self-defence’ against those whose territory it has illegally occupied
said the veteran Pakistani diplomat.
Condemning the Israeli military action in Gaza and calling for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire, Akram told UNSC:
Throughout history, colonial powers have portrayed national liberation movements as terrorism. Some in this Council have offered protection to their allies who are oppressing occupied peoples in Palestine or Kashmir
The Pakistani Ambassador regretted the UNSC’s “inability” to call for a ceasefire and said: “Responsibility will rest on those who contribute to the prolongation of the conflict.”
The conflict in Gaza, which has been under Israeli bombardment since 7 October, began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air. It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers.
The Israeli military then launched a relentless air campaign against the Gaza Strip.
Nearly 8,000 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 6,546 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis.
Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been running out of food, water, medicines, and fuel, and aid convoys allowed into Gaza have carried only a fraction of what is needed.