M Fazal Elahi

Where is U.S. Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin? Where is Congressman Brad Sherman? Where are their fellow Congressmen? Where is former U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad? Where are the international human rights organizations? While the Israeli genocide in Gaza continues to surpass all bounds of inhumanity, while at least 20,000 innocent Palestinians (including 8,000 children and 6,200 women) stand exterminated in the Gaza strip since Israel began bombarding the enclave more than 10 weeks ago, while the Gaza city is being raised to the ground, these self-proclaimed advocates of human rights choose to remain absolutely tight-lipped vis-à-vis this humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented magnitude. Hitherto, no one has heard them condemn the brazen Israeli aggression in Gaza. Yes, not a word from them. What a shame. Contrary to this, in April 2023 US Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin had vociferously raised concern about alleged Human Rights violations in Pakistan. She baselessly claimed, 220 million people of Pakistan were being “deprived of the basic rights of democracy.” She revealed the efforts to gather support from 100 Congressmen to write to the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, urging him to take action to improve the deteriorating situation in Pakistan and restore democratic values. As a matter of fact, emotionally charged Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, for whatever reasons, blew the human rights issue in Pakistan out of proportion. The fact of the matter is that the Human Rights situation in Pakistan is far, far better compared to the unparalleled human rights violations that Israel is blatantly committing in Gaza. Following suit of his colleague Elissa Slotkin, U.S Congressman Brad Sherman also called on the Pakistani political parties to respect and abide by the rulings of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Equally vociferously, former US Special Representative for Afghanistan, ZalmayKhalilzad, despite being asked by the Pakistan Foreign Office to stay away from domestic issues, dished out unsolicited advice to the then Pakistan government to refrain from proceeding against the head of a particular political party of Pakistan. The utterly biased rhetoric of the above officials was unquestionably direct intervention in the internal affairs of Pakistan. Absolute silence of the above people vis-à-vis the ongoing dehumanization of the Palestinians in war-torn Gaza makes one curious to know why theyare silent. Why aren’t Elissa Slotkin, Congressman Brad Sherman, all other representatives of the US Congress, and former US Special Representative for Afghanistan, ZalmayKhalilzad raising their voice against Israel’s barbarism and human rights abuses in Gaza? Why aren’t Elisa Slotkin and Congressman Brad Sherman endeavoring to garner support of their fellow colleagues in the Congress to raise their voice for the beleaguered people of Palestine, as vociferously and enthusiastically as they did when they got down lambaste Pakistan for alleged Human Rights abuses? They won’t, because they have double standards. Response of the International Human Rights organizations to the Israeli aggression in Gaza has also not been as vigorous and powerful as it should have been. In fact, so far their response to this profoundly critical humanitarian crisis has been lukewarm. However, what is encouraging to note is that at least the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been sincerely and strenuously endeavoring to bring an end to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza city, which has been facing unabated Israeli bombardment since the commencement of the Gaza war on October 7. It is profoundly unfortunate, so far all UNSC resolutions calling for suspension of hostilities in Israel’s war in Gaza has been vetoed by the United States. It has been reported that the United States has signaled that it is ready to support the upcoming UNSC resolution calling for an end to the hostilities in Gaza. The world sincerely hopes this resolution, once passed, would bring an end to the catastrophic war in Gaza. Regardless of how strong or weak the response of representatives of the U.S. Congress and the International Human Rights organizations has so far been to the cataclysmic Gaza war, time has come for the civilized world nations to stand united and raise their voice for the grossly dehumanized Palestinian people. It should further gear up its endeavors and prevail on Israel to immediately halt the bloodshed in Gaza, and pave the way for a peaceful and permanent settlement of the long-drawn Palestinian issue.

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