No change in Pakistan's Israel policy: FO

Published: August 29, 2019
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Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal. PHOTO: FILE

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:  

The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday said there has been no change in Pakistan’s policy on Israel after some in the country suggested establishing diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv in the wake of the muted reaction of Arab Muslim countries to India’s Kashmir move.

“Our policy on Israel is very clear and there is no change in it,” Dr Muhammad Faisal told reporters at the weekly briefing when asked if the government was mulling any change.

Pakistan does not recognise Israel because of the longstanding Palestine dispute. There were, however, in the past efforts made to establish some contact between Pakistan and Israel.

During Musharraf’s regime, then Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri held a meeting with his Israeli counterpart in Turkey. Those efforts, however, could not make headway because of strong public opposition from within the Pakistani public.

Should Pakistan revisit its Israel policy?

The current Kashmir crisis has again triggered a debate in Pakistan on whether the country should revisit its policy towards Israel.

Such suggestions stemmed from the fact that some Arab states have either given a muted response or sided with New Delhi over its decision to revoke the special status of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

The spokesperson said India was now facing a difficult situation after scrapping the special status of disputed territory.

Dr Faisal was of the view that Pakistan was absolutely clear that the Kashmir issue could only be resolved through the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions.

To a question, he said Pakistan had never shied away from efforts to resolve the issue through bilateral talks with India.

“It was New Delhi which always showed little interest in bilateral engagement,” he added.

To another query, the spokesperson said consultations were under way on whether to approach the International Court of Justice against India’s Kashmir move.

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