UAE told Pakistan won’t recognise Israel until Palestine issue resolved: Qureshi

FM terms UAE visa ban temporary; asks opposition to resign immediately


Our Correspondent December 21, 2020
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. PHOTO: RADIO PAKISTAN

MULTAN:

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Monday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) leadership was told that Pakistan would not recognise Israel till the resolution of the Palestine issue. Stressing that Islamabad would not tolerate any pressure in this regard.

Talking to the media in Multan after the “Ghusal” ceremony of the shrine of Hazrat Shah Rukknuddin Aalam, the foreign minister said that the UAE visa ban for the Pakistani labour was a temporary issue which would be resolved very soon.

Qureshi, who is caretaker of the shrine performed the traditional bath ceremony on the occasion of 707th Urs ceremony of the Sufi saint. The foreign minister undertook a two day visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi last week and held talks with the UAE prime minister and the foreign minister.

“Neither will we tolerate any pressure regarding Israel, nor we are under any compulsion [to recognise it],” the minister told reporters. “There is resemblance in issues of Kashmir and Palestine,” he said, adding that Pakistan wanted solution of both issues as per wishes of the local people.

Qureshi remarked that his recent visit to UAE was aimed at discussing and deepening the bilateral relationship. He added that he met UAE Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discussed different issues with them.

He said that the matters discussed in the meetings included Afghan peace process, status of Kashmir issue and the visa ban. He made it clear that the UAE visa ban issue was temporary and it would be resolved very soon.

Responding to a question, the minister stated that UAE and Saudi Arabia did not think India as a substitute of Pakistan. “Neither UAE nor Saudi Arabia give preference to India over Pakistan,” the minister made it clear.

Talking about the ceasefire violation by the Indian forces targeting the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (Unmogip) officials, and their vehicle along the Line of Control (LoC), the FM said it was a matter of “grave concern”.

“Firing on the peacekeepers is a crime,” he said, adding that India had been constantly violating the ceasefire agreement. The matter should be investigated. “Pakistan has already requested for [the UN investigation into the incident],” he said.

“There are reports that India could carry out a surgical strike [against Pakistan] under any pretext,” the foreign minister said. “If India takes any irresponsible action, we will be forced to take a timely and appropriate response.”

‘Opposition confused’

Speaking of the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) threat of resigning from the assemblies, the foreign minister observed that there appeared to be a lot of confusion among the opposition members on the resignation issue.

The 11-party opposition alliance had earlier threatened to submit en masse ‘resignations’ in its effort to overthrow the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government. Qureshi said that the opposition should submit their resignations immediately to the National Assembly speaker. “What is the impediment?”

The foreign minister remarked that the PDM should understand the severity of coronavirus pandemic. “The virus is turning more dangerous as England, Germany and many other countries of Europe. He asked the opposition leadership “to shun political agenda and follow the national agenda only”.

The PPP [Pakistan People Party] is not in favour of resigning. The PPP wants to participate in by-elections in Sindh, so how could it support resignations,” Qureshi posed a question. Similarly, one strong group of the PML-N [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] is also not interest in resignations.”

Earlier, Qureshi performed the traditional Ghusal of the shrine. He said that the ceremonies of the 707th Urs of the great Sufi saints were cancelled due to coronavirus. He urged devotees to pray for the progress and prosperity of the country in their respective areas. (WITH INPUT FROM APP)

 

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