‘Israel needs to be shown that its actions have costs’: Pakistan’s UN ambassador

NEW YORK: Munir Akram, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, called on the international community to act together, saying Israel’s activities should not go unpunished and should be shown to have costs.

Speaking to Anadolu on Monday about the UN Security Council resolution demanding an urgent cease-fire in Gaza on March 25, Akram expressed concern over Israel’s continued attacks despite the resolution.

He highlighted the unprecedented disregard for global consensus by a single nation, adding that Israel even ignores its “friends.”

Akram stressed the urgency for the international community to convince extremist leaders in Israel to halt the massacre in Gaza, noting the sanctions outlined in Article 7 of the UN Charter for enforcing Security Council resolutions.

‘All arms deliveries to Israel must stop’

Akram underscored the importance of demonstrating the cost of Israel’s actions, and said: “In the first instance, all arms shipments to Israel must stop.”

He noted: “Israel’s friends should not facilitate genocide. Secondly, I think other international community members should also consider actions, sanctions on trade, on oil supplies, on other actions that will impose a cost on the Israeli regime.”

He also suggested that the question of Israel’s continued UN membership should be debated, citing it as another potential sanction option.

‘US and other key actors must take further steps’

Describing Gaza as a “hell” for its residents, Akram stressed the plight of innocent civilians trapped in the crisis.

He noted that not only are innocent civilians being bombed, but also those attempting to assist them are suffering from Israeli attacks.

Akram dismissed Israeli claims of accidental killings of World Central Kitchen workers and suggested it was a deliberate attack.

He said: “There must be a response from the international community to such actions by a rogue regime.”

Akram highlighted a shift in the US stance on supporting Israel, stating: “It has moved from opposing the cease-fire to accepting a cease-fire.”

He insisted that more action is needed: “We hope that the United States government and other friends of Israel will agree with us to take steps in order to hold the Israeli regime accountable.”

He added: “It takes imposing the costs which are needed to be imposed in order to convince them to stop this brutal war that they are pursuing.”

‘Two-state solution is the only viable option’

Regarding potential solutions, Akram emphasised that the two-state solution is the only sustainable and viable option, asserting the need for Palestinians to have their own state.

He highlighted the importance of supporting Palestine’s full membership in the UN.

Akram conveyed a message of condolence, sympathy, and solidarity to the Palestinian people for their suffering, saying: “We will do everything that is possible to relieve their suffering to end the occupation.”

‘Security Council reform is essential’

Akram stressed the need for reform within the UN Security Council, stating that it should be carried out in two directions.

He emphasised the need for increased representation, pointing out that the Council was established with 55 members, while it now has 193 members.

He also suggested that smaller and medium-sized countries should be more represented.

Akram advocated for expanding the Security Council membership from 15 to 27 members, with none having the veto power.

He highlighted the significance of limiting the veto power as part of reform efforts, stating: “At least arbitrary veto use should be restrained.”

Akram suggested that reducing the risk of the council paralysis would result from such measures and emphasised the need to find ways to ensure the implementation of the Security Council resolutions.

He pointed out the existence of many Security Council resolutions that have not been implemented, such as those concerning Kashmir and Palestine, which he said have led to problems.

‘Turkiye-Pakistan relations are a love affair’

Ambassador Akram described Turkiye-Pakistan relations as akin to a love story, highlighting the profound affection between the two peoples as the cornerstone of their bond.

He underscored the significance of bilateral relations, noting that the collective action of the two nations in geopolitical affairs yields considerable influence.

Also, he stressed that this influence contributes significantly to fostering peace and stability, both regionally and globally, emphasising that Turkiye-Pakistan relations transcend boundaries.

Akram mentioned that cooperation between the two countries spans various sectors, including defence, and suggested that collaboration in economics and other areas could be expanded.

Regarding their collaboration at the UN, he remarked: “Our partnership is very necessary for Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, particularly during times of uncertainty and instability. Together, we can do quite a bit in promoting peace and stability in our region and worldwide.”

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