Prime Minister Imran Khan Says He Was Pressurized To Recognize Israel
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have recently established diplomatic and economic relations with Tel Aviv.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has disclosed that he has been “under pressure” to recognize Israel.
However, he confirmed that Islamabad would never establish relations with the “Zionist” state until a just agreement is reached on the decades-long Palestinian issue.
In an interview with a private media channel on Thursday, Imran Khan declined to name the countries pressuring him to recognize Israel.
“Are they Muslim or non-Muslim states that have been putting pressure on you?” the anchor asked in an attempt to get a clear-cut answer.
“Leave this [question]. There are things we can’t say. We have good relations with them (states),” the premier replied.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have recently established diplomatic and economic relations with Tel Aviv. Some other Persian Gulf countries are also weighing options to develop ties with Israel.
“Let us stand on our own feet in terms of the economy; then you may ask these questions,” the prime minister said, mentioning Islamabad’s longtime economic dependence on some friendly nations.
However, he made it clear that he has no “second thought” about recognizing Israel. “I’ve no second thought to recognize Israel unless there’s a just settlement, which satisfies Palestinians,” he went on to say.
Referring to the country’s founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who time and again had rejected to recognize Israel, the premier said Islamabad would pursue to follow in Jinnah’s footsteps vis-à-vis Palestine.
According to Imran Khan, Israel has had a profound influence in the US, which is another country that is pressurizing him to recognize Israel.
“The pressure is because of Israel’s extensive impact (influence) in the US. This (influence) was, actually, extraordinary during Trump’s stint,” he maintained.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also maintained that there would be no “alteration” in Washington’s ongoing Afghan policy under US president-elect Joesph Biden.
The current US Afghan policy aims to bring an end to the 19-year bloody conflict via a political settlement in the war-torn country.
“Afghanistan is not a problem. The real question is Israel. It’s to be seen how he (Biden) deals with it and whether he changes Trump’s policies (about Israel) or continues with them.
“I’m not sure about Biden’s policy on Israel, Iran, and Kashmir, but I’m sure there will be no alteration in (Washington’s) Afghan policy. The Democrats want to pull out of Afghanistan as well,” he contended.
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