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November 15, 2020 7:50 pm

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Says He’ll Never Establish Ties With ‘Zionists,’ After Facing Pressure to Recognize Israel

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks at a news conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Feb. 4, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Lim Huey Teng / File.

Pakistan’s Islamist prime minister said late last week that despite facing pressure to recognize Israel, he refuses to establish relations with the “Zionists.”

In a television interview on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan did not identify the countries applying the pressure, only saying, “We have good relations with them.”

This suggests that the nations involved may be Arab or Muslim countries, three of which – the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan – recently normalized relations with the Jewish state.

Khan emphasized his dedication to opposing Israel, saying that Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah did so and his government would “follow in Jinnah’s footsteps vis-a-vis Palestine.”

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“I have no second thought about recognizing Israel unless there is a just settlement, which satisfies Palestinians,” he asserted.

Khan also claimed the US is pressuring Pakistan to recognize Israel “because of Israel’s deep impact in the US. This influence was in fact extraordinary during the Trump stint.”

Speaking about the recent US presidential election, Khan also appeared to blame Israel for the ongoing war in Afghanistan, with which Pakistan shares a border.

“Afghanistan is not the real issue. The real issue is Israel. It is to be seen how Biden deals with that. Whether he changes Trump’s policies about Israel or continues with them,” he claimed.

Last month, Khan made openly antisemitic statements to the Pakistani media, saying, “The Israeli and Indian lobbies work together in America. Israel’s lobby is the most powerful and that’s why America’s whole Middle East policy is controlled by Israel.”

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