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Pakistan President Arif Alvi triggers row after proposing 'one-state solution' for Palestine

A press release dated November 10 referred to Alvi's conversation with his Palestinian counterpart, which was retracted within hours. Pakistan's caretaker government has distanced itself from the President's controversial remarks.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Islamabad Published on: November 22, 2023 15:00 IST
Pakistan President Arif Alvi.
Image Source : AP/FILE Pakistan President Arif Alvi.

Pakistan President Arif Alvi triggered shockwaves in the country by proposing a 'one-state solution' for Palestine during a telephonic conversation with his Palestinian counterpart, marking a significant departure from the established policy on the conflict.

A press release published on November 10 referred to Alvi's conversation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in which he said, "If the two-state solution was not acceptable to Israel, then one-state solution was the only way where Jews, Muslims and [a] good percentage of Christians could live to exercise equal political rights."

However, the press release was retracted within hours after the release and released a new one which did not mention the proposal. Now, Pakistan's caretaker regime has distanced itself from the President's remarks, reported Dawn.

Not in line with the government's stance: Foreign Minister

Caretaker foreign minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on Tuesday, in the Pakistani Senate, said that Alvi's controversial proposal was not in line with the country's principled and historic stance on the issue after a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator demanded the President step down over the row.

Jilani also said that the President did not seek any input before issuing the release from his ministry, which had issued a clarification soon after the remarks were made public. The clarification has been forwarded to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other concerned organisations.

Demands for Pakistan President's resignation

PPP Senator Raza Rabbani in the Senate drew attention to Jilani's remarks and demanded Alvi's resignation over the controversy. "A contradiction was issued [after the press release]… but I demand resignation of the president over his statement," he said.

He also quizzed the foreign minister on the countermeasures taken by the interim government to overcome the "disastrous" statement made by the President.

Notably, Pakistan has always suggested a "two-state solution" for the Israel-Palestine conflict, which is also endorsed by countries like China, Russia, India and the United States.

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