Pakistani opposition on same page with government: Says 'no' to recognizing Israel

Maryam Nawaz, left, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, second left, and President of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Maulana Fazlur Rehman, third left, sit on the stage during a political rally in Peshawar on Nov. 22, 2020. (AFP/File)
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Updated 04 December 2020

Pakistani opposition on same page with government: Says 'no' to recognizing Israel

  • In recent weeks, there has been speculation about foreign pressure on Pakistan to recognize Israel
  • Opposition leaders say recognizing Israel is 'unthinkable' and against Pakistan's foundations

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani opposition parties on Thursday echoed the government's position of not recognizing Israel, saying that normalizing ties with Tel Aviv would be against Pakistan's ideological foundations.
In recent weeks, there has been speculation about foreign pressure on Pakistan to recognize Israel, although the Pakistani prime minister and foreign office have categorically rejected the reports.
“Pakistani people are strongly against accepting Israel as it is against the ideology of our founder Quaid-i-Azam,” Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Raja Zafar Ul Haq told Arab News, referring to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
“Israel has not been recognized as the government knew that they will face a very strong public reaction against it. We strongly support the Palestinian people for their right of an independent and sovereign state,” he said.

Fazlur Rehman, chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and the head of the multi-party opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement, said the whole Muslim world should talk about recognizing Palestine rather than Israel.
“It is totally unthinkable to recognize Israel. We should talk about independence of Palestine with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital,” he said. “Why the Muslim world is under so much pressure that on one side we are handing over Kashmir to Indians and on the other side, are handing over Palestine to Israel?”
Liaqat Baloch, leader of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami, told Arab News that Pakistan's stance on Israel is that of Quaid-i-Azam, "that it is an illegal state and the dagger has been stabbed in the chest of the entire Ummah." 
"If we will take decision by conceding to the pressure then we will have no stand on Kashmir. Therefore, it is the stance of Jamaat-e-Islami that we should not recognize Israel. Palestine belongs to Palestinians. We should stand by our principle stand for the independence of Palestine and freedom of Al-Quds Al-Sharif."



Pakistan does not recognize Israel and has been a staunch supporter of demands for a Palestinian state.
Farhat Ullah Babar, senior leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said Pakistan should not recognize Israel until the rights of Palestinians are granted to them.

“It is a cornerstone of our foreign policy that any settlement in the Middle East must be based on the acceptance of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,” he told Arab News.
Foreign office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhari reiterated the government's stance during a media briefing on Thursday.
“For just and lasting peace, it is imperative to have a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State,” he told reporters.

Nepalese climbers bag mountaineering’s last great prize: winter ascent of Pakistan’s K2

Updated 16 January 2021

Nepalese climbers bag mountaineering’s last great prize: winter ascent of Pakistan’s K2

  • One of the ten Nepalese mountaineers performed the feat without using an oxygen cylinder
  • K2 earned the nickname of ‘savage mountain’ since a large number of climbers lost their lives while trying to scale it

ISLAMABAD: A group of Nepalese climbers made history on Saturday by summiting the world’s second tallest mountain, K2, in winter, according to its team leader who made the announcement on Facebook only minutes after making the accomplishment. 

“The Karakorum’s ‘Savage Mountain’ has been summited in the most dangerous season: WINTER,” Chhang Dawa Sherpa exclaimed in his social media post.

His announcement was also confirmed by an official of the Alpine Club of Pakistan which deals with mountaineering expeditions in the country.

At 8,611 meters, K2 was the only peak among the 14 “8000ers” located in the Karakorum and Himalayan mountain ranges that remained unconquered during winter. 

Along the icy glaciers of the Karakoram, mountaineers and locals speak about K2 summits with a hushed reverence, and folklore in the area is rife with mythical stories of the mountain “permitting” climbers to reach its top — considered the ultimate honor granted to a mortal by nature. 

When a climb doesn't go as planned, locals tell each other the mountain refused to be scaled. 

“The Nepalese climbers finally reached the summit of Mt. K2 … this afternoon at 17:00 local time,” Dawa wrote. “This is the first winter ascent of the 2nd highest mountain in the world and the ONLY eight-thousander (8000er) to be climbed in winter. This is a greatest achievement in the history of mountaineering, this is a good example of team work … ‘If a mountain lets you climb it, no one can stop you.’” 

One of the ten Nepalese climbers, Mingma G, also became the first mountaineer to summit the peak in winter without an oxygen cylinder.

K2 earned the nickname of “savage mountain” since a large number of climbers — 86 in all — lost their lives while trying to scale it. 

In 2008, 11 climbers from an international expedition died in what was considered as the single worst accident in the history of mountaineering. 

K2 straddles the Pakistan-China border. While it is about two-and-a-half football fields shorter than Everest (8,848 meters), it is widely considered to be the toughest and most dangerous mountain to climb. 

More than 300 climbers have scaled K2 in spring and summer. Italians Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli were the first to reach its summit in the summer of 1954.