(VOFNEWS)– Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that Pakistan will not recognise Israel until there is a Palestinian state acceptable to the Palestinians.
PM Imran Khan, in an interview with Dunya News, said that Islamabad would not follow suit in recognising Israel as a state, in a thinly veiled reference to the United Arab Emirates which struck a United States-brokered deal last week to normalise ties with Israel.
“Whatever any country does, our position is very clear. And our position was made clear by [Pakistan’s founder] Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah … in 1948: that we cannot ever accept Israel as long as Palestinians are not given their rights and there is no just settlement,” Khan said.
The United Arab Emirates became the first Gulf Arab country – and third in the Middle East after Jordan and Egypt to have a deal of normalising relations with Israel on 13 August.
The premier said that if Pakistan accepted Israel and ignored the oppression of the Palestinians, “we will have to give up Kashmir as well then”, adding that this was not something Pakistan could do.
“When you talk of Israel and Palestine, we need to think, will we be able to answer Allah if we abandon those people who have faced every kind of injustice and whose rights were taken away? My own conscience will never allow me to do this, I can never accept it,” Khan said.
The embassy of Palestine in Islamabad thanked PM Imran Khan for his stance.