FO’s clarification


THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday clarified that the government has nothing to do with the visit of a Pakistani delegation to Israel clarifying that the visit was organized by a foreign non-governmental organization (NGO) which is not based in Pakistan.

A day earlier, a delegation of Pakistanis met Israeli Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem. It also included a former government minister.

The visit was essentially a private one and its sponsors claim it was aimed at promoting inter-faith harmony which is, of course, need of the hour in view of Islamophobic trends around the world, especially in the West.

But it raised eye-brows in the backdrop of reports of similar visits in the past including the one by Zulfi Bokhari, Advisor to the then Prime Minister Imran Khan in November last to meet Mossad chief, as claimed by an Israeli newspaper and denied by the former Advisor.

A Pakistani journalist also visited the Jewish State as part of a delegation and this caused him his job in the state-owned Pakistan Television.

There is no reason to contest the clarification issued by the Foreign Office but media reports suggest track-two type diplomacy to prepare grounds for initiation of some sort of relationship with Israel as some prominent television talkers have also been speaking favourably to the possibility of establishment of normal relations with Tel Aviv.

The issue has many pros and cons, which must be considered thoroughly and a decision should be taken in line with the aspirations of people of Pakistan.

The Foreign Office has done well by clarifying that Pakistan’s position on the Palestinian issue is clear and unambiguous and that there is no change whatsoever in our policy on which there is a complete national consensus.

The statement further said that Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination.

Pakistan strongly believed that 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 United Nations and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) resolutions, is imperative for just and lasting peace in the region.


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