Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan says his country will never recognize Israel until the issue of Palestine is resolved days after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached a normalization deal with Israel.
In an interview with the private Dunya News television network on Tuesday, Khan said Islamabad will not follow suit in recognizing Israel, in a reference to Abu Dhabi, which has reached a highly controversial deal with Tel Aviv to establish full diplomatic ties.
“Our stance is very clear from day one and Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had said Pakistan can never accept Israel until the people of Palestine get rights and state,” Khan said.
The Pakistani prime minister further noted that recognition of Israel equals to abandoning Pakistan’s stance on the Muslim-majority Kashmir region.
“The case of Palestinians is similar to people of Kashmir and their [Palestinians] rights have been snatched and they have been suffering from Israeli atrocities. Both issues have a similar background,” Khan pointed out.
The Himalayan region of Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947. The countries have fought three wars over the territory.
The Indian-administered part of the region, known as Jammu and Kashmir, enjoyed autonomy until August 2019, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government revoked that status.
On 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced the peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.
The UAE claims the deal — which the Palestinians have rejected as backstabbing — was designed to stave off Tel Aviv’s planned annexation of the occupied West Bank.
Supporters of the Palestinian cause, however, reject that claim, saying normalization attempts have been in the offing for a long time.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also reaffirmed that the regime’s annexation has been delayed but is not off the table.