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November 29, 2020

Armed forces fully support country’s stated position on Israel: ISPR DG

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November 29, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s armed forces fully support the country's stated policy on Israel and Palestine, DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar told The News here on Saturday. When approached, the military spokesman said, “The stated position of the government of Pakistan on Israel and Palestine is fully supported by the armed forces.” He added that unnecessary and unsubstantiated speculation on the subject must be discouraged. The DG ISPR was contacted by this correspondent for his version on the widespread ongoing speculation about an alleged review of Pakistan’s policy on Israel and Palestine. Major General Babar Iftikhar’s response will help diminish unnecessary speculation about the possible recognition of Israel by Pakistan. Rumour-mongers, particularly in the social media, have been speculating that Pakistan is considering the option of recognising Israel and that the country’s military establishment is pressurising the civilian government to change its policy.

Now that the DG ISPR has categorically rubbished rumour-mongering on the subject and conveyed to all and sundry to stay away from “unnecessary and unsubstantiated speculation on the subject”, the media and the social media are expected to behave maturely on this matter.

Meanwhile, an aide to the prime minister, who was contacted by this correspondent to know whether the civilian government is facing any pressure from the military establishment to recognise Israel, also strongly dismissed such speculation. The premier’s aide said, on condition of not being named, that he recently met top officials of the military establishment and found them firm in support of Pakistan’s stated policy on Israel and Palestine. The source said that one of these top military officials even went to the extent of stating that Pakistan cannot recognise Israel even if an influential Arab country like Saudi Arabia does so.

The source said that there is a realisation among both the civilian as well as the military side that the country’s Israel’s policy could not be changed until the Palestinians get their right as per the relevant UN resolution and the al-Quds issue is not resolved according to the aspiration of the Muslims. Without the resolution of the Palestine issue and the al-Quds dispute, he said, everybody here agrees that Pakistan cannot even think of recognising Israel as taking such a step would also seriously compromise Pakistan position on the issue of Kashmir. Prime Minister Imran Khan has already made it clear that Pakistan will not recognise Israel until the resolution of the Palestine issue.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry has also reiterated that the country is not considering recognising the state of Israel. Recently, Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri “categorically rejected baseless speculation regarding the possibility of recognition of the state of Israel by Pakistan. “Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination,” said the statement, which was in line with the country’s position on the conflict. “For a just and lasting peace, it is imperative to have a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds al-sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State,” he added.