KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the country is facing great pressure from the United States to recognise Israel, especially in the wake of peace deals between several Arab states and Tel Aviv, but this will not be possible “unless there is a just settlement, which satisfies Palestine”.
The prime minister was quoted as making these remarks by the Middle East Eye (MEE) website — a portal with a focus on the region — in a report carried on Monday.
MEE said Mr Khan made these remarks “last week” talking to “local media”.
The website quoted the prime minister as saying that pressure to recognise Israel was “extraordinary during the Trump stint”.
Rules out recognition until there is justice for Palestinians
Asked if any Muslim states were applying similar pressure on Pakistan, the PM appeared evasive, saying “there are things we cannot say. We have good relations with them”.
Earlier this year the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan normalised relations with Israel, while reports in the media stated that the Trump administration was goading Saudi Arabia to do the same. Riyadh has so far not followed in the footsteps of its Gulf and Arab allies.
In the MEE report, the PM reiterated Pakistan’s official line on the Palestine question, saying that “Islamabad would continue to follow in Jinnah’s footsteps vis-a-vis Palestine” meaning that unless there was justice for the Arab side, recognition of the Zionist state was off the table for Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2020