airmale
Posts: 7125
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Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Wed Jul 30, 2003 6:58 pm

I should take up Hebrew just incae they want to hire local staff if and when they open a Consulate or Embassy here Smile

http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/index.html

Israel to let Pakistanis visit holy shrines

By Zia Iqbal Shahid

BRUSSELS: The stipulation of "all countries of the world except Israel" in Pakistani passport will not hamper the realisation of the dreams of Pakistani Muslims to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock and other venerated holy shrines in Al-Quds Al-Sharif as Israeli government declares that Pakistani citizens are allowed to visit Israel whenever they wish to do so.

Talking to The News, Israeli ambassador, accredited to EU and also covering the NATO, Dr Oded Eran, said Israeli consulates across the globe would not refuse any visa application submitted by any Pakistani. In the circumstance that Pakistan has no diplomatic relations with Israel, Israeli consulates would grant visa to most of the Pakistani applicants assuming that their "passports are valid".

"Israel has imposed no restriction on Pakistanis intending to travel to Israel. Recognition of Israel by the Government of Pakistan is not there, as yet, but Pakistanis are free to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock and other shrines and holy places in Jerusalem after getting their visas stamped from Israeli consulates in any nearest neighbouring country of Pakistan", Ambassador Oded Eran continued.

He said: "It is up to Pakistan to keep the stipulation of 'all countries of the world except Israel' or delete it; Israel will not block any Pakistanis visit to Israel. All holy places in Israel are open for not only Pakistanis but also for Muslims from all Islamic countries. We would like to live peacefully with Islamic countries, some of them have already recognised us and others are talking on this issue".

Oded Eran had been extensively involved in Israel's official talks with several Islamic countries. In a previous interview with The News, Ambassador Eran was the first to trigger the debate on Israel's recognition by Pakistan, when he stated that Israel would follow an even-handed approach in his country's relations with India and Pakistan if Pakistan decided to accord recognition to Israel. Later, President Pervez Musharraf, during an interview with The Geo TV channel, took a note of the views expressed by the Israeli official representative and encouraged an open debate on this issue.

Asked whether any kind of official contact existed between Israel and Pakistan, Eran said, "I am not aware of any official contact so far. Israeli and Pakistani diplomats do meet informally in various capitals of the world and they do have friendly exchanges but you cannot call it official contacts".

Hoping that Muslim countries would come to terms to the existence of Israel, Eran declared, "We do not have any conflict with any Muslim country, including Pakistan. We do not have any conflict with Islam, as a religion and we hope that Islamic countries will respond positively".

The Israeli envoy was optimistic that the entire Muslim world would recognise Israel as he claimed such indicators were there.

"I have already visited six Muslim countries, including some of those which have not accorded recognition to Israel," Eran said, but declined to give further details when asked to identify such Islamic countries. "I notice lots of goodwill in Islamic countries and that is very encouraging for us," he said.

Making repeated reference to Israeli government's permission to citizens from Pakistan and other Islamic countries to visit Israel, he said, "Not only that I have visited six Islamic countries, thousands of Muslims from these countries are visiting the holy places like Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third most important Muslim place of prayer after Makkah and Medina, built in AD 720, is situated on the southernmost side of the Temple Mount, Al-Quds Al-Sharif. Dome of the Rock in Al-Quds is a gloriously beautiful Islamic shrine, built in A D 691. The rock is also believed to have been the point from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended to glimpse heaven during the miraculous night journey described in the 17th Sura of the Quran.

Enquired about any official demand made by the Israeli government to obliterate the "Valid for all countries except Israel" inscription from Pakistani Passport, Oded Eran said, "It entirely depends on Pakistan to consider it. We will not prevent Pakistanis desiring to visit Israel or go to the holy places because of this stipulation in their passport".

To a question on the possibility of designating third countries to look after the interests of Israel and Pakistan in their respective capitals prior to establishing full diplomatic relations, he said: "We are interested in developing diplomatic relations with Pakistan in any form acceptable to both the countries. Yes, Pakistan and Israel may agree on the countries which would safeguard their interests in both the capital. Or alternatively, both the countries may have their diplomats, for a start, operating from the embassies of some friendly countries in the capitals of Pakistan and Israel".




[Edited 2003-07-30 12:31:35]
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cfalk
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:15 pm

I find the phrase "Valid for all countries except Israel" to be interesting in and of itself. The language appears to give legitimacy to Israel's existance as a country, and not as some occupation force or whatever. It would bode well for Pakistan to get rid of this phrase, for logical as well as other reasons.

Charles
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CHRISBA777ER
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:50 pm

That has to be a good thing - the only way for Sharon's government to stop feeling so isolated and hence, aggressive, would be become more open - perhaps then Israel will allow the Palestinians to have passports too...
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airmale
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Thu Jul 31, 2003 6:12 am

Yes I find the statements of "Recognising Israel" odd too, I mean the fact that you're discussing the state and its mentioned in your passport means you accept its existance, what actually is being considered is 'establishing ties with Israel' which is a more appropriate statement.

the Palestinian Authority have also said that Pakistan "recognising" Israel will not affect Pakistans stance on teh Palestinion issue, also its the decision of a soverign state which they respect.

China have also told Pakistan they will play the part of mediator if the country decides to go it alone in establishing ties with Israel rather than waiting for other Muslim countries especially the Arab states to do so first and then foloowing their lead.

[Edited 2003-07-30 23:28:19]
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ryanb741
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Thu Jul 31, 2003 8:29 am

The Muslim states have behaved childishly for barring Israelis. Whatever their gripes with Israel, maybe those countries need to look internally and see that if they become more open to Israel then Israel too will moderate its actions. Israel has become very isolated, trapped and surrounded by enemies. And we all know that if you trap an animal or whatever in a corner, it's going to bite! It is natural defence mechanism at work.

I'm no supporter of people like Sharon, but then again Sharon has only come to power because of the actions of the Islamic world in persecuting Israel. And lets admit it, I think the Arabs are just a tiny bit jealous of Israel's remarkable success against the odds. Maybe if both parties could get along then the Islamic world could share in that success - after all Jews, Christians and Muslims are virtually following the same religion, with few differences.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
gamps
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Thu Jul 31, 2003 10:14 am

The most childish behavior award should goto Malaysia. If you have an earlier Israeli visa stamped on your passport you are not even eligible to apply for Malaysian visa. At airports and borderposts the immigration officers religiously go through all the pages to make sure you have not visited Israel.

I wonder how genuine biz folks handle this situation. I mean there should be atleast few people in the world who have to goto Israel and Malaysia for some reason or other?

Cheers
G
 
tbar220
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Fri Aug 01, 2003 2:57 am

Gamps, that's an interesting statement. Is there a website or a resource that can tell me that? Thank you.
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bobrayner
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:09 am

The most childish behavior award should goto Malaysia. If you have an earlier Israeli visa stamped on your passport you are not even eligible to apply for Malaysian visa. At airports and borderposts the immigration officers religiously go through all the pages to make sure you have not visited Israel.

I wonder how genuine biz folks handle this situation. I mean there should be atleast few people in the world who have to goto Israel and Malaysia for some reason or other?


Unfortunately, this happens with lots of countries. To use an example closer to home, I'd have lots of difficult questions to answer if I tried entering the USA with my current passport (planning to get a new one shortly from my nearest embassy) and that's even without visiting Cuba.

However, yes, an Israeli stamp is unpopular in several countries.
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B747-437B
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:31 am

I wonder how genuine biz folks handle this situation.

I keep 2 passports for that very reason. One for the "Judeo-Christian" world and one for the "Islamic" world. Both valid - separate but equal!  Smile
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sayem55
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:46 am

A very good move by Isreal.
a question :- What was the official reason by Pakistan not to accept Israel in the UNO?
StarFighter
 
cfalk
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Fri Aug 01, 2003 4:25 am

Most countries allow you to have a second passport in order to bypass the Arab Embargo. All you have to tell them is that you go to both Israel and Arab countries on business.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Alessandro
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Fri Aug 01, 2003 5:03 am

I don´t think Pakistan will ever get diplomatic relations with Israel, I consider them as hard-core anti-Israel as Iraq.

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sayem55
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Fri Aug 01, 2003 2:02 pm

Alessandro
" I consider them as hard-core anti-Israel as Iraq." So
It was in Pakistan's interest to accept Israel but some of the Pakistanis who care more about the Arab-World than Pakistan itself, would never let this happen. Pakistan is not anti-Israel, they were in a very good position to accept Israel but again those Arab lovers didn't let this happen.

StarFighter
 
Alessandro
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Fri Aug 01, 2003 8:39 pm

Well, the Israeli-Pakistani male doubles pair played at wimbledon this year, more of a novelty last year. But otherwise I don´t much of Pakistani-Israeli co-operation.
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airmale
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RE: Israel To Allow Pakistani Visitors

Fri Aug 01, 2003 9:37 pm

They should only extablish ties after the Palestine issue is resolved, but set up diplomatic cells of their own in the embassies of friendly states in their respective countries, I think the Chinese or Jordanian Embassies would be suited for the role.
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