UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has told the UN Security Council that Israel’s “unabated” building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory was a setback to peace in the Middle East, while underscoring the need for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Speaking in a debate on the Middle East situation, Pakistani delegate Saad Ahmad Warraich echoed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for a “surge in diplomacy” in 2019 to meet the expectations of people round the world with UN, and said nowhere was such a move more urgent than in the Middle East, especially in Palestine.
“We should not fail the Palestinian people,” he told the 15-member Council.
Last week’s assumption by Palestine of the chairmanship of the Group of 77 was not only a vote of confidence by the international community on its ability to steer the biggest block of developing nations at the UN, but also an “expression of solidarity with the long-suffering Palestinian people”, Warraich, a counsellor at the Pakistan Mission to the UN, said.
Citing diminishing hope among Palestinians against the backdrop of the UN Special Coordinator for Middle East peace, Nicolay Mlandenov’s grim assessment regarding a viable State of Palestine, the Pakistani delegate said Israel’s expanded illegal settlements — which are worsening the situation — are emblematic of a blatant disregard for international law and the global community’s will, including resolution 2334 (2016).
“Creating ‘alternative facts’ on the ground cannot change historic realities or neutralize the legal rights of people living under foreign occupation,” he stressed.
“It is also a setback to peace and a retreat from a two-state ‘solution’ to a one-state ‘reality’, ” Warraich said, adding that the suffering of civilians in Gaza represents a moral outrage and must end.
BMW, Daimler to invest 1b euros
BERLIN: German auto giants BMW and Daimler said Friday they would invest one billion euros ($1.1 billion) in combining and extending their carsharing schemes, in future offering a slew of joint “mobility services”, including for electric cars.
“We are pooling the strength and expertise of 14 successful brands and investing more than one billion euros to establish a new player in the fast-growing market for urban mobility,” Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler said in a statement.
India divertig attention from Spy’s case?
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda has termed the Indian threat to stop the flow of water from eastern rivers to Pakistan a “failed attempt”, just like the Pulwama incident, to divert attention from its failure in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in International Court of Justice (ICJ).
In his reaction over India’s threat to stop Pakistan’s water, he said India could not blame Pakistan for its failure in the International Court of Justice to prove spy Kulbhushan innocent. As per Indus Water Treaty, India could not stop Pakistan’s water, he added, says a press statement here on Friday.
Describing the threat hilarious and void, he said the Indian government was preparing the ground to seek public support in next election by hurling allegation against Pakistan. “India must keep it in mind that it is a New Pakistan,” Vawda said adding that valiant Armed Forces of Pakistan would give a befitting response if India launched any misadventure. He said India would get nothing from its war hysteria except embarrassment among the comity of the nations.
Brexit: 9th MP leaves Labour in a week!
LONDON: The Labour party contingency of Britain’s parliament lost more blood Friday, with a ninth MP leaving Labour in less than a week, blasting alleged anti-Semitism in the party leadership.
Ian Austin, representing Dudley North in the West Midlands, chose the local paper Express and Star to make his announcement, in a guest op-ed slamming the party as “broken.” Citing the alleged anti-Semitism in the party, Austin said he was “appalled at the offense and distress [leader] Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party have caused to Jewish people.”
“I always tell them the truth and I could never ask local people to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister,” he said. “It is terrible that a culture of extremism, antisemitism, and intolerance is driving out good MPs and decent people who have committed their life to mainstream politics,” he wrote. He said that he had not spoken to the new Independent Group, now made up of eight Labour MPs and three former Conservative MPs.
“The hard left is now in charge of the party, they’re going to get rid of lots of decent mainstream MPs and I just can’t see how it can return to the mainstream party that won elections and changed the country for the better,” Austin said. He added, “I think the Labour party is broken and clearly things have to change but that’s not what today is about, and I’ve not talked to them about that.”
A Labour spokesman said the party “regrets” Austin quitting, adding, “He was elected as a Labour MP and so the democratic thing is to resign his seat and let the people of Dudley decide who should represent them.” Earlier this week, amid the continuing chaos over Brexit, a group of seven MPs resigned from Labour and said they would stay in parliament as independent lawmakers, followed soon thereafter by an eighth. Three Conservative MPs also resigned their party this week to join the Independent Group.