Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said he has informed the United Arab Emirates, UAE, of Islamabad’s policy toward Israel.
“I have conveyed to the UAE foreign minister Pakistan’s firm stance on Israel, namely that we will not and cannot establish relations with Israel until a concrete and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue is found,” he told reporters in the Pakistani city of Multan on Monday.
Qureshi had visited the UAE a few days earlier, prompting speculation that Islamabad, under pressure from Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, was on its way to normalizing relations with Tel Aviv.
Last week, Israeli regime news agencies reported that a senior adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had secretly traveled to the occupied territories in November – a claim Islamabad dismissed as “fake news.”
Imran Khan had previously revealed that Pakistan is “under pressure from friendly countries to recognize Israel” and asserted that Islamabad “will not do so without a fair solution for the Palestinians.”
Many speculated that the Pakistani prime minister was actually referring to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
In recent months, the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have officially established diplomatic relations with the Israeli regime under U.S. mediation.
For his part, Qureshi dismissed reports that Islamabad was under pressure to recognize Israel, saying, “Number one, there will be no pressure on us and there is none. Number two, we have to take decisions keeping in mind the interests of Pakistan and not because of pressure. We have our political stand and we still stand firm on it.”
This top Pakistani diplomat also said he had explained to his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan the “depth of Pakistanis’ feelings toward Palestine and Kashmir.”
On December 17-18, 2020, Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi visited the United Arab Emirates, in part to discuss the problems of issuing new visas for Pakistanis.
Pakistan is among 13 countries with predominantly Muslim populations whose citizens have been affected by the UAE visa ban since Nov. 18. The UAE is home to the second largest Pakistani community outside the country.
by Basit Abbasi/PN