Pak-Israeli meeting was ill-conceived, says Dr Mubasher
* Calls for open debate on issue
By Ali Waqar
LAHORE: Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri meeting Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom was thoroughly ill-conceived and against the principled stand of the world’s oppressed, former Federal Finance Minister Dr Mubasher Hasan told Daily Times on Sunday.
Pakistan-India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) founding member Hasan called for an open debate on the issue. He said the Pakistani people had been stabbed in the back by their government. He lamented that people, parliament and the cabinet were not consulted, adding that the meeting negated the 84-year-old stand of colonial people, especially Muslims.
The former minister said, “People of the world opposed Lord Balfour’s declaration that Britain would establish an independent Jewish state in Palestine in 1919, and then Foreign Minister Zafarullah Khan presented a strong case against the establishment of Israel before the United Nations in 1948.” He said the issue in question was not a matter of Muslims verses Jews, but a question of Arabs verses Zionist ambitions. However, he said the UN approved Israel’s establishment and today it occupied around four times the land approved. He added that most Israeli territories were by war, in which it was helped by the United Sates of America.”
Hasan said atrocities have been perpetuated against Palestinians for the past 57 years. He said that Pakistanis hung their heads in shame when Brigadier Ziaul Haq (who later ruled the country as a dictator) mercilessly attacked Palestine refugee camps in Oman, Jordan. He regretted that President General Pervez Musharraf was praising Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and forgetting that Sharon was the man who invaded Lebanon, and solely responsible for the massacre in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. “Why Pakistani generals do not understand their people’s aspirations is inconceivable!” he added.
The PIPFPD founding member said that it was inconsequential that Mahmoud Abbas was informed about the meeting, because Abbas was neither the Palestinian president nor prime minister. He said Pakistan’s should not negotiate with Israel until an independent state of Palestine had been formed, and had established diplomatic relations with Israel. He added, “To say that it was simply a meeting and meant nothing is only saying that it had no significance, which then raise the question as to why it was necessary?”
Hasan said the government says on one hand that it is fighting terrorism and on the other hand our prime minister shakes hand with Israel, the principal terrorist state in the world. He queried, “What crimes against humanity be it throwing bombs, committing murders, and kidnapping people has Israel not committed?” He said the question of vacating some areas in Gaza and the West Bank by Israelis was nothing when compared with establishing an independent state of Palestine. He added, “I fail to understand what Pakistan can gain from this meeting except ignominy and shame as a state that cannot be trusted.”