A Pakistani journalist was fired by the Pakistan Television Corporation (PVT) for participating in a visit to Israel organized by a Pakistani-American delegation, a foreign group seeking to promote pro-Israel relations in the Islamic country.
This was announced directly by the Pakistan Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Monday, who also stressed that state TV employee Ahmed Quraishi joined the visit in his ‘personal capacity’ and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphatically rejected the idea of a Pakistani delegation visiting Israel.
Pakistan does not recognize the state of Israel and supports the establishment of a Palestinian state, so the visit, which was attended by Pakistani Americans, quickly sparked controversy in Pakistan.
The government through Aurangzeb then quickly clarified that there was no change in Pakistan’s policy in support of Palestine. the country’s policy is clear and in accordance with the orders of Quaid-i-Azam, no policy or action can be taken against the wishes of the people of Pakistani.
Qurashi along with a group of Pakistani-Americans traveled to Israel earlier this month to meet with President Isaac Herzog on a visit sponsored by a pro-Israel civil society group. Israeli President Isaac Herzog called the meeting with the Pakistani-American group an ‘incredible experience.’
Several important Pakistani figures also criticized the visit. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted this issue at the rally. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami MP Mushtaq Ahmad Khan demanded that Pakistani citizenship for Pakistani-Americans who took part in the visit be revoked.
The visit was sponsored by an organization called Sharaka, which it claims was founded by ‘young leaders from Israel and the Gulf region.’ It aims to take advantage of the recent ‘Abraham Treaty’ to announce the recognition of the Islamic world for Israel, particularly in the Gulf countries.
Sharaka said on its official Twitter account that they were honored to bring a delegation of Muslims and Sikhs from southeast Asia including the first Pakistani Jews to visit Israel to meet President Isaac Herzog. The group further said that during the meeting the delegation spoke with President Herzog about their efforts to develop relations with Israel.