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Pakistanis slam US move on Jerusalem
December 08, 2017
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ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of Pakistanis have rallied in major cities across the country, condemning President Donald Trump for declaring the city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The demonstrators dispersed peacefully after Thursday’s rallies in the capital. Similar anti-US rallies were also held in Karachi, the country’s largest city, and in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province bordering Afghanistan, as well as in the city of Multan in Punjab province.

The rallies came a day after Trump’s announcement angered the Muslims across the world. Islamabad has asked the United States to reconsider any move that alters the legal and historical status of Jerusalem.

Muslim-majority Pakistan has already reiterated its support for the Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their hoped-for state.

“This decision represents a serious violation of international law and applicable UN Security Council resolutions... It is a serious setback to the rule of law and international norms. It signals a severe blow to the Middle East peace process as well,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

President Mamnoon Hussain said the move was “unacceptable to the Muslim world.” Islamabad urged Washington to revisit its decision in order to avoid the potentially grave repercussions in the region and beyond.

Pakistan called upon the UN Security Council “to take cognisance of this situation and take steps in accordance with the UN Charter.”

It further welcomed an announcement by Turkey to convene an “extraordinary” meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Dec.13 to discuss the situation.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said the Turkish leader is inviting leaders of member states of the OIC to an extraordinary meeting to discuss Jerusalem’s status next week.

Ibrahim Kalin told reporters on Wednesday that the meeting, planned for Dec.13, will give the opportunity for Muslim countries leaders to act together and co-ordinate following Trump’s expected recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Kalin also said that Turkey calls on the US administration to “immediately turn away from this grave mistake that will virtually eliminate the fragile Middle East peace process.”

Erdogan said on Tuesday that Jerusalem was a “red line” for Muslims and could lead Turkey to cut diplomatic ties with Israel.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the “whole world is against” Trump’s move.

Cavusoglu’s remarks came just before a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at Nato headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.

He said that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would be a “grave mistake.”

Cavusoglu said such a move would “not bring any stability, peace but rather chaos and instability.”

The Turkish diplomat said the whole world is reacting, not just the Muslim world. He said he’s raised the issue with Tillerson in the past and plans to do so again.

Earlier, Pakistan’s ruling party criticised Trump’s plan. Raja Zafarul Haq, chairman of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), urged for speedy pressure on Trump to “refrain from complicating the Palestine issue instead taking steps to resolve it.”

Firebrand cleric Maulana Samiul Haq, known as the “Father of the Taliban,” described Trump as an “evil man” and urged the Muslim world to stop the US leader from insulting Palestinians.

Hafiz Saeed, recently released from house arrest in Pakistan, also condemned Trump’s planned announcement.


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