Recognition of Israel not under consideration: FO

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office has said that recognition of Israel is not under consideration.
Addressing the weekly press briefing on Thursday, FO Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri reiterated that there is no change in Pakistan’s principled position on the issue.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has made it clear that unless a just settlement of the Palestine issue, satisfactory to the Palestinian people, is found, Pakistan cannot recognize Israel.
He rejected the reports that the Kashmir issue has been excluded from the agenda of the two-day meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), being held in Niger’s capital Niamey from November 27, and termed all such reports ‘baseless’.
“The reports are baseless. Such irresponsible speculations are part of a false Indian propaganda and disinformation campaign,” said Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri during the weekly press briefing.
Adding that the issue of the disputed region remains a ‘permanent item’ on the organisation’s agenda, the FO spokesperson said OIC has been “unambiguously pronouncing itself on the issue for decades”.
The reports of the exclusion started doing the rounds after the OIC statements, both in English and Arabic, made no specific mention of occupied Kashmir in the agenda announced in Riyadh.
“In the aftermath of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, the OIC has been actively seized of the matter. In a series of pronouncements, issued from time to time, the OIC General Secretariat has called for the settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.”
The spokesperson further said that the organisation’s contact group has met on the issue of Kashmir thrice during the past 15 months.
Referring to the dossier Pakistan has recently presented on India’s sponsorship of terrorism, the spokesperson called upon the UN counter-terrorism bodies to proceed on the basis of evidence provided by Pakistan and urge India to renounce use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
He said that the world bodies should also urge India to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism it has established to inflict terrorism on Pakistan, and stop the use of other countries’ soil for its terrorist activities directed against Pakistan.
Replying to a question regarding China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the spokesperson said that CPEC is a transformational project and is positively contributing to Pakistan’s economy, national development, and regional growth.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping, in their meetings, reached consensus on further promoting and expanding CPEC as a high-quality demonstration project of Belt and Road Initiative.
He said, “We are in consultations with China on further expanding CPEC and making it a centrepiece for regional connectivity and prosperity.” He said that in the post-COVID-19 world, CPEC and BRI would become hubs for regional growth and trade. He said, “We welcome third countries to invest in CPEC’s Special Economic Zones.”
Responding to a question, the Foreign Office spokesperson said that Pakistan looks forward to working with the US new administration to further strengthen bilateral ties and to continue partnership to achieve peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. He said Pakistan would also welcome resumption of structural dialogue with the United States.
Answering another question, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri expressed the hope that the US administration will take notice of the grave human rights violations in Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the international community will force India to ensure implementation of UN Resolutions to resolve the longstanding issue. – TLTP

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