ISLAMABAD: Pakistan supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, the Foreign Office said on Wednesday, in response to the announcement of US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan.
“Pakistan has consistently supported a two-state solution, as enshrined in the relevant Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions,” the Foreign Office said in a statement and renewed a call for the establishment of a “viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.”
On Tuesday, President Trump unveiled the peace plan that broadly favored Israel. In accordance with it, Jerusalem would remain Israel’s capital while Palestine’s capital would include areas of East Jerusalem.
On the same day, Trump’s announcement was rejected by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Senior Pakistani diplomat Javed Hafeez told Arab News that while under the US plan the Palestinians would be allowed to have their capital in East Jerusalem, “that area would remain under Israeli control,” which is “a contradiction.”
He said that the motive behind the announcement was to “garner more votes for President Trump and to bail out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his troubles.”
“There is a huge trust gap between Palestinians and Israel. To me, the chances of its success are minimum,” Hafeez said.
Foreign affairs expert and former Pakistani diplomat, Rustam Shah Mohmand, said “the plan may help President Trump politically in an election year, but it offers very little to Palestinians and so much to Israel.”
“It confers legitimacy on Israeli annexation and on illegal settlements. Settlements are clearly in violation of international law. The plan would not work. It will make the conflict even worse,” he said.
Pakistan does not recognize the state of Israel and has repeatedly supported the UN resolutions regarding Palestine.