Pakistan ready to airlift injured Palestinians: FM

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Pakistan ready to airlift injured Palestinians in Gaza: FM Jilani

Khayam Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani Friday said that Pakistan is ready to airlift the injured Palestinians and bring them for treatment, adding this has been conveyed to Jordan and Egypt as well.

The top Pakistani diplomat made the revelation while responding to a calling attention notice in the Senate. The notice had sought the foreign minister’s briefing on what efforts Pakistan was doing related to Gaza to end the atrocities against the Palestinian people.

The comments from the minister came as the Israel-Hamas truce came into effect today after more than a month of bombing in Gaza that killed over 14,000 people including children and women.

The first pause in the 48-day-old war began at 10am PST, involving a comprehensive ceasefire in north and south Gaza, the release of 13 Israeli women and child hostages by the Hamas later in the day and aid to flow into the devastated Palestinian enclave.

Israel had launched its devastating invasion of Gaza after gunmen from Hamas burst across the border fence on October 7, killing 1,200 people and seizing about 240 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Hundreds of thousands of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have fled their homes to escape the violence, but conditions are becoming more desperate.

“We are already in contact with Jordan and Egypt. We have offered them that Pakistan will be happy to treat these injured Palestinians in Pakistan,” foreign minister Jilani told the upper house. However, he pointed out that they were encountering some problems and working to resolve them as soon as possible.

“We are also in contact with countries that are in touch with Israel because Israel’s permission is also needed,” said FM Jilani. He added that the Egyptians had communicated to Islamabad that Israel also scrutinises the injured to make sure that a Hamas member is not being taken away.

“We have also offered that Pakistan [wishes to] establish a hospital there,” said Jilani. But he again explained that the situation in Gaza was such that there was no possibility for any country to establish a health facility in the besieged strip.

“Indonesia had also established a hospital that has now been destroyed. This is the situation but we will keep on working,” the minister told the senate.

On the diplomatic efforts of Islamabad, Foreign Minister Jilani said that Pakistan was among a few countries that have played an active role in putting pressure on Israel. He shared that the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) recent moot in Jeddah was one such example and Pakistan was among eight countries that helped produce the consensus document.

The other diplomatic effort that the top diplomat highlighted was the passage of the United Nations resolution floated by Jordan.

“I got calls from 10-15 foreign ministers who appreciated Pakistan for the role it played in developing consensus,” said Jilani.

The minister was also of the view that the support which Palestinians got in Europe and the US showed that Israel and Western countries’ narrative had failed.

“I believe the Palestine issue has come on the centre stage because of what happened in the last month,” said the minister.