Former Pakistani government minister visits Israel

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ISLAMABAD (AP) — A delegation of Pakistanis, including a former government minister, met with Israeli Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem on Wednesday, the group leader and trip organizers said.

Pakistan is among the countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel due to the lingering question of Palestinian statehood, and claims that no government delegation has visited Israel.

The trip organizer said the delegation also included representatives of American Muslims and multi-faith women…

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ISLAMABAD (AP) — A delegation of Pakistanis, including a former government minister, met with Israeli Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem on Wednesday, the group leader and trip organizers said.

Pakistan is among the countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel due to the lingering question of Palestinian statehood, and claims that no government delegation has visited Israel.

The trip organizer said the delegation also included representatives from the American Muslims and Multifaith Women’s Empowerment Council and Sharaka, a US-based non-governmental group founded following the Abraham Accords, which was brokered by the Trump administration in 2020 and normalized relations. between Israel and four Arab countries — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

“Yes, I am in Jerusalem with a delegation to promote interfaith harmony,” Nasim Ashraf, the head of the delegation, told The Associated Press by phone. He declined to give further details about the other members of the delegation. Ashraf was formerly Minister of Development of Pakistan and Chairman of the Pakistani Cricket Board.

The trip comes more than three months after journalist Ahmed Quraishi, who also traveled to Jerusalem to promote interfaith harmony, was taken off the air from Pakistani television following his visit.

Anila Ali, a Pakistani-American citizen who lives in the United States and is one of the organizers of the trip, told the AP that Ashraf was in Jerusalem to promote interfaith harmony.

She urged Pakistan to establish diplomatic relations with Israel that would be in its best national interest.

She said Turkey was a good example for Pakistan because Turkish leaders have established diplomatic relations with Israel for their national interest. “If Turkey can do it, then why can’t we do it,” she asked.

Ali said Israel could guide and help Pakistan improve the country’s irrigation system following the latest floods, which have claimed 1,569 lives since mid-June.

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