In Islamabad, Pakistan is collaborating with other Muslim nations, notably those in the Arab world, to advocate for an immediate halt to Israeli hostilities against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Amid concerns that Israel may be planning a significant ground offensive, as it warned 1.1 million Palestinians to relocate from north Gaza to the south, there are worries about the potential for a massacre and ethnic cleansing in Gaza, an area one-third the size of the capital, Islamabad.
Given the worsening situation, Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani conversed with his counterpart from the UAE over the weekend. He shared the details of their discussion on social media, stressing the need for an immediate ceasefire and the protection of civilians. This marked the first direct contact between Pakistan and a key Gulf nation since the renewed Middle East conflict.
A Foreign Office representative stated that Pakistan is in touch with various nations to prevent further escalation of Israeli hostilities. Pakistan is part of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) Contact Group on Palestine and is maintaining communication with fellow OIC members regarding the deteriorating situation.
Nonetheless, Pakistan’s role in diplomatic efforts in the Middle East seems to have diminished compared to the past. The Foreign Minister’s conversation with the UAE counterpart took place a week after Hamas conducted an unprecedented operation.
In contrast, leaders from important Muslim nations are actively communicating with one another. Recently, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman spoke with Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi for the first time, and they agreed to collaborate to protect the interests of Palestine.
Officials in Pakistan reject the notion that the country is no longer deeply involved in Middle East politics. They emphasize that since the tensions escalated, Pakistan has been in contact with relevant countries to ensure the safety of Palestinians.
In response to the escalating military situation in Gaza, Saudi Arabia, as the current chair of the Islamic summit, has extended an invitation for an extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This meeting is set for October 18 and will focus on addressing the ongoing crisis in Gaza and the surrounding areas, particularly the deteriorating conditions threatening the lives of civilians and the overall security and stability of the region, as per an official statement from the OIC Secretariat in Jeddah.