Middle East issue can be resolved after Iran N-deal, hopes Maleeha
7/25/2015

UNITED NATIONS: Welcoming the historic nuclear accord reached with Iran, Pakistan has expressed the hope that solutions will be found to growing challenges in the Middle East, particularly the issue of occupied Palestine.

In an impassioned speech during a debate in the UN Security Council on Middle East, Pakistan`s Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said: `The landmark agreement reached with Iran, which if fully and sincerely implemented, could not only contribute to nuclear non-proliferation but also regional stability, cooperation and economic growth.

It could open, she added, the way for `closer consultations and even agreement on how to address pressing regional challenges`.

Speaking about the threat posed by the self styled ISIS, she called for a comprehensive strategy, military, political, economic and social, to defeat a movement motivated by an ideology of hate and gruesome violence. `ISIS poses a spreading threat to security across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. A military-only approach is neither sufficient nor permanent in its impact`.

She, on the need to confront and roll back ISIS in Iraq, said that this should be achieved by the state and not sectarian militias. `Success will come only if the minority population is fully UNITED NATIONS: Welcoming the historic nuclear accord reached with Iran, Pakistan has expressed the hope that solutions will be found to growing challenges in the Middle East, particularly the issue of occupied Palestine.

In an impassioned speech during a debate in the UN Security Council on Middle East, Pakistan`s Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said: `The landmark agreement reached with Iran, which if fully and sincerely implemented, could not only contribute to nuclear non-proliferation but also regional stability, cooperation and economic growth.

It could open, she added, the way for `closer consultations and even agreement on how to address pressing regional challenges`.

Speaking about the threat posed by the self styled ISIS, she called for a comprehensive strategy, military, political, economic and social, to defeat a movement motivated by an ideology of hate and gruesome violence. `ISIS poses a spreading threat to security across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. A military-only approach is neither sufficient nor permanent in its impact`.

She, on the need to confront and roll back ISIS in Iraq, said that this should be achieved by the state and not sectarian militias. `Success will come only if the minority population is fully assured of its safety and human rights. Durable peace can be achieved through political solutions, not just military engagement s`.

Syrian conflict On the Syrian conflict, Ms Lodhi welcomed the consultations undertaken by the UN`s Special Envoy in Geneva and urged the need for `a serious search for a political solution`.

She voiced Pakistan`s concern that the humanitarian pause had not held in Yemen and urged all parties to the conflict to return to the negotiating table. Ms Lodhi called for the restoration of the legitimate government of Yemen but stressed that `this effort should be led by diplomacy and engagement`.

Palestinian issue On the Palestine issue, she called upon the Security Council to adopt a resolution setting timelines and parameters for establishing an independent, viable and contiguous state of Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.

The Pakistani envoy said Pakistan believed that the path to sustainable peace in the Middle East lies only in the two-state solution and an end to Israeli occupation of all Arab lands. She urged the council to take its responsibilities seriously. Peace in the Middle East, Ms Lodhi said, appeared more distant than ever. Blaming Israel for perpetuation of the crisis, she said, `The inflexible and indefensible posture taken by the hard-line Israeli government has frozen any prospect for the resumption of the peace process and a political resolution.

Ms Lodhi referred to the Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry established by the Human Rights Council on the Gaza conflict and termed it an eye-opener. `It establishes that security concerns cannot relieve Israel of its obligations under international law`, she said.

Calling for an end to impunity, Ms Lodhi said that the persistent lack of implementation of recommendations regarding violations all but guarantee their systematic recurrence.

`Full implementation of the OIC-sponsored and Pakistan-steered Human Rights Council Resolution of July 1, 2015 would be a step towards ending this cycle of impunity.

She said that Israel`s actions that devastated Gaza were but one aspect of the daily hardships that Palestinians face as a result of Israeli occupation. The eight-year blockade of Gaza, the detention regime, excessive use of force on Palestinian civilians and illegal settlements all continue unabated and unchecked. `It is heartbreaking`, she added, `that of the over 12,500 houses completely destroyed in Gaza, not a single one has so far been rebuilt.

Published in Dawn