Pakistan in talks to recognise Israel: Report

Last Updated: Friday, August 13, 2010 - 21:15

Islamabad: Pakistan is engaged in secret
talks with Israel and might even be considering recognising
the Jewish state, a media report said on Friday, prompting a
strong rebuttal from the government which said there was "not
an iota of truth" in the claim.

Quoting top-level diplomatic sources, the Nation said
that Pakistan is said to have opened its "camp office" in Tel
Aviv, and is engaged in covert talks to find out possibilities
to establish direct links.

The paper said Pakistan might even following in
Turkey`s footsteps to recognise Israel in the near future.

Reacting to the report the Foreign Office spokesman
Abdul Basit said in a statement: "There was no change in
Pakistan`s policy (on Israel), nor is any change under
consideration".

Such reports "based on mere speculation and hearsay"
are "irresponsible, to put it mildly," he said.

The paper said a prominent politician who is also the
chief of a religious party, has played a vital role in the
talks.

However, Basit said the news report was baseless.
"There was not an iota of truth in these claims. Pakistan`s
position on Israel was clear and based on principles," he
said.

According to the paper, Israel`s then-foreign minister
Silvan Shalom met his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mehmood
Kasuri in 2005 in Turkey, sparking protests in Pakistan.

In September 2006, Musharraf had said Pakistan`s
government would have to recognise Israel only after an
independent Palestinian state was established.

"We cannot do something that sidelines us from the
Muslim world," Musharraf had said at that time.

PTI



First Published: Friday, August 13, 2010 - 21:15

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