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Pakistan, Israel have 10 years old ties
September 06, 2005 17:38 IST
Admitting that Pakistan had been engaged secretly with Israel for over ten years, Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri has dismissed reports that the recent meeting between the two nations was forged under outside pressure.
"The handshake with Israel, which Pakistan believes will enhance its role for the cause of Palestine, has been made in self interest and no pressure from outside whatsoever was at work," Kasuri told reporters at the foreign office in Islamabad on Monday evening.
Kasuri, at a reception hosted by him in honour of foreign envoys posted in Islamabad, said that no meeting between President Pervez Musharraf and Ariel Sharon has been scheduled as yet, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this September.
Under attack by Islamic hardliners for holding talks with Israel, Pakistan stated on Monday that the engagement was necessary to get involved in the Middle East peace process and help the Palestinians.