Senator Raza Rabbani has vehemently called for the resignation of President Dr Arif Alvi following his controversial remarks on the Palestine issue.
The Senate session resonated with demands for clarity and accountability over the president’s controversial remarks, underscoring the need for coherence in Pakistan’s foreign policy stance on sensitive global issues.
The president’s statements, later retracted, sparked outrage as they diverged from Pakistan’s established stance on the matter.
Senator Rabbani, addressing the upper house, denounced Alvi’s advocacy for a “one-state solution,” emphasising that such a stance had never been part of Pakistan’s official position on the Palestine issue. He demanded clarity on the Foreign Office’s response to the president’s remarks.
In a significant departure from established policy, the presidential office made waves on Friday by advocating for a “one-state solution” to the Palestine issue. However, the stance swiftly reversed course within a few hours, marking an abrupt about-face in the official position.
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The presidency initially released a statement attributing to President Alvi the suggestion of a “one-state solution” during a telephonic conversation with Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas.
He was quoted as saying that If Israel didn’t accept a two-state solution, then one unified state could accommodate Jews, Muslims, and a good percentage of the Christian population, allowing them equal political rights.
“A one-state solution has never been Pakistan’s position,” the senior lawmaker stressed. “We have always taken the principled position of two states.”
Rabbani urged the interim foreign minister to explain the government’s actions after the president’s controversial statement. He highlighted the tragic toll, citing the loss of 5,000 children in Palestine.
Drawing attention to the escalating crisis in Gaza, the PPP senator underscored its deteriorating nature. He criticised the global Muslim community for remaining passive observers amid the unfolding situation in Palestine.
FO distances itself
Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, responding to Rabbani’s query, distanced the ministry from the controversial statements, highlighting that the press release from the President House lacked any input from the Foreign Office.
“I don’t know in what context the president talked about a one-state solution,” he remarked, adding that Pakistan’s position has always been a two-state solution.
Jilani, expressing ignorance regarding the context of the President’s statement, reiterated Pakistan’s enduring policy, affirming that a “one-state solution” had never been endorsed by Pakistan.
He further recalled the subsequent issuance of a clarification by the Foreign Office, emphasising its dispatch to the secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).