FO: No delegation from Pakistan visited Israel

156

Reported visit was organised by a foreign NGO not based in Pakistan

Islamabad on Sunday categorically rejected the notion of any delegation from Pakistan visiting Israel, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said.

The communique came after reports quoted Israel President Isaac Herzog as saying that he recently received a delegation of Pakistani-Americans, calling it an “amazing experience”.

According to the reports, Herzog referred to the development as an example that showed him “great change” vis-a-vis Israel’s ties with the Muslim world.

The Israeli president delivered these remarks during a special address at the annual World Economic Forum meeting on May 26 in Davos, Switzerland. The FO said that the reported visit in question was organised by a foreign NGO which is not based in Pakistan.

“Pakistan’s position on the Palestinian issue is clear and unambiguous. There is no change whatsoever in our policy on which there is a complete national consensus.” the FO spokesperson said in the statement.

He said that Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination. “The establishment of an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, in accordance with the relevant UN and OIC resolutions, is imperative for just and lasting peace in the region,” he further said.

According to the International News Agency, during the talks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Israeli president confirmed the meeting with a Pakistani delegation but did not reveal the identities of the members of the delegation.

Herzog maintained that the two Pakistani nationals were permanently residing in the United States but were “proud Pakistanis”. He further said that the meeting with the Pakistani delegation was “very welcome” and that he was pleasantly surprised because no Pakistani delegation had ever visited Israel before.

Earlier, Anila Ahmed, a Pakistani-American, shared a photograph on Twitter of her meeting the Israeli president on May 12. In the photograph, she is presenting a book written by her father Qutbuddin Ahmed on Tehreek-e-Pakistan and Quaid-i-Azam to the Israeli president.

Anila Ahmed is a politician, author and teacher and is reputed for her social work in the United States. Her tweet suggests she was part of the delegation that met with the Israeli president.

Meanwhile, in a statement on the social networking site Twitter, Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal on Sunday said that the policy of the government of Pakistan is clear and it does not recognize the state of Israel.

Ahsan Iqbal made it clear that no government or semi-government delegation of Pakistan met the Israeli president. The participants in the delegation mentioned by the president of Israel were Pakistani-Americans who have already explained their position.

The Federal Minister while rejecting it put great emphasis on Pakistan’s policy that does not recognize the state of Israel. All our sympathies are with our Palestinian brothers and sisters, he added.

“All our sympathies lie with brothers and sisters of Palestine.”