Pak, KSA call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza, regret intl community’s failure to enforce ceasefire

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Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on Tuesday while regretting the failure of the international community to ensure ceasefire in Gaza, demanded its immediate enforcement in Gaza, opening of humanitarian corridor and averting of famine that was leading to catastrophe. Addressing a joint presser along with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan was deeply concerned over the catastrophic like situation in Gaza.

Both the brotherly countries shared the same feelings on Gaza, he said, stressing upon the international community to end the genocide. More than 33,000 Palestinians had been killed, the world conscience must wake up and enforce an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to ensure unimpeded humanitarian aid, he added. More Palestinians should not be killed due to starvation, he said, demanding for a global probe into crimes committed against humanity in Gaza. Foreign Minister Dar said that different investigations had been carried out across the world over the war crimes against humanity so why it could not take place in Gaza! He reiterated that Pakistan believed that the perpetual solution to the issue was in the establishment of an independent state of Palestine with its pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its Capital. He shared views of the Saudi Foreign Minister that world woke up after the killing of six aid workers from the West but not at the deaths of thousands of Palestinians. The foreign minister said that the world must act fast and quick. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said that in Gaza so far more than 33,000 people had been killed. “They are now facing famine like situation and starving to death as the international humanitarian aid is not getting in. It is a complete failure of the international community,” he added. Terming the situation as unacceptable, he said there was no justification to it. In reality, he said, the two UN resolutions regarding immediate ceasefire in Gaza had not seen implementation. Efforts were seen after six western aid workers were killed but not when 33,000 Palestinians died which showed the double standards, he regretted. Prince Faisal called for an immediate end to the killings and sufferings of the people of Gaza. He said that they were already living in an unstable region leading to catastrophe in Gaza and ‘there is no need for further confrontation’, adding that ‘de-escalation should be everybody’s priority’. Replying to various queries, the two sides said reiterated to further build up and convert the strong partnership into strategic partnership and further promote economic cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two brotherly countries. Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar expressed his pleasure at the arrival of high-powered delegation from the KSA, terming it as an ‘impressive group of dignitaries visiting Pakistan for the first time during his long political career’. About their deliberations, he said that they had discussed ways and means to transform the cordial cooperation between the two brotherly nations into strategic partnership and enhancement of investment in Pakistan. He explained that Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was functioning like one window for fast tracking foreign investment, adding that Pakistan was committed to strengthening of its investment environment. He expressed the hope that Pakistan would soon become a hub for investment and innovations. He further expressed the optimism that their detailed briefings had highlighted the extensive opportunities for the Saudi investors in energy, agriculture, minerals and IT sectors. Foreign Minister Dar said that they would ensure full support to the Saudi investment and provide conducive environment under the directives of Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal expressed his profound appreciation for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. He termed his meetings with the Pakistani leadership as very productive. The Saudi FM stressed upon the importance of strategic partnership between the two countries and expressed commitment for strengthening of investment. He said that the delegation was impressed with the proactive and business focused approach of the Pakistani side. The minister said that there were significant investment opportunities in Pakistan, and termed their visit as ‘very positive on their perspective’, which would lay groundwork for future ventures. The untapped potential in Pakistan needed to be tapped, he emphasised. Prince Faisal bin Farhan further reaffirmed to continue working closely for the economic progress and regional security with historic bilateral cooperation. Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, to another query, said that SIFC and launch of Sovereign Wealth Fund were established through the acts of parliament. The Fund had a worth of 9million dollars now as against its initial launch at $2.3million. Moreover, the country had 10 trillion dollars worth mineral assets, he added. He said both the countries enjoyed fraternal ties and had historic background of common approach at all the regional and multi lateral fora. He said the KSA was hosting about 2.5 million Pakistanis that formed 28 percent of total number of Pakistani expatriates working abroad and they had been sending 25 percent out of the total remittances received by the country. He informed that the government of Pakistan would export trained and skilled workforce to meet KSA’s new policy. The Saudi Foreign Minister also lauded contributions made by the Pakistanis to the development of KSA, expressing the confidence that this positive contribution in their economy would continue in the future. The Saudi minister further said that the two brotherly countries were facing the challenges together, cooperated and relied on each other in the past and would continue in the future. The two countries believed in dialogue to end the global challenges, he reiterated.