NEW YORK: Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and discussed grave situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, and also updated him on developments in the occupied Jammu Kashmir. The meeting took place on sidelines of the special session of the UN General Assembly on Palestine. The foreign minister is in New York as part of Pakistan’s extensive diplomatic outreach efforts to mobilize international support for the Palestinians. During the meeting, he conveyed the strong sense of outrage on behalf of the entire Pakistani nation over Israel’s use of indiscriminate and disproportionate force against the Palestinians, resulting in the loss of numerous lives, including dozens of women and children. He also called for ensuring protection of Palestinian civilians, allow humanitarian access to the occupied Palestinian territories and initiate an emergency UN humanitarian assistance plan for the Palestinians. The foreign minister underscored that peace in the region can only be achieved through the realization of a two-state solution and through the establishment of a viable and independent Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. MONITORING CEASEFIRE LINE He also briefed the UN chief on the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied Jammu Kashmir, including continued extra-judicial killings. He conveyed Pakistan’s deep concern at the continued incarceration of Kashmiri political leaders in crowded conditions despite the coronavirus pandemic, leading to the death of prominent leader and Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Chairman Ashraf Sehrai in Indian custody. He urged Guterres to use his good offices and mediation to resolve the Jammu Kashmir issue, including by calling on India to rescind its illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019, and to allow Kashmiris to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant UN resolutions. He reiterated Pakistan’s call for further strengthening the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which monitors the ceasefire line in the disputed region. In addition, Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted Pakistan’s constructive efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process, and expressed the hope that the Afghan parties would seize the opportunity and reach an inclusive, politically-negotiated settlement, resulting in lasting peace and security in Afghanistan. Expressing deep concern at the rising tide of intolerance, discrimination, violence and Islamophobia against Muslims, he urged need for the relevant UN bodies to address this challenge. He also urged the UN offices to take effective measures against the threat posed by violent nationalist, supremacist, far right and extreme-right wing terrorist groups and ideologies. The foreign minister called for a strong international response to Covid-19 based on solidarity and cooperation to support global economic recovery, and in this regard recalled the five-point action plan for recovery from the pandemic proposed by the Prime Minister Imran Khan.