The Prime Minister’s television interview on Tuesday night, to discuss two years at the helm of government provided a good view into the mindset of the current government, and was helpful in understanding its priorities and goals moving forward. But one facet of the conversation that stood out was PM Imran Khan’s unequivocal statement regarding Israel—there is no question of recognition unless Palestine is given freedom.

On the surface, this is essentially a reiteration of a stance that Pakistan has held since our independence. However, given the changing scenario in global politics, it was important for the government to clarify our position as well. Arab nations that had backchannel ties with the apartheid state have now initiated more formal discussions, leading to open speculation about who else might follow. More countries in the Middle-East are open to speaking with Israel than even five years ago. At a time like this, it was crucial for Pakistan to reiterate that it stands firmly behind the cause of Palestinians.

Pakistan’s principle stance to stand against state-sponsored terrorism is also one that is consistent. Palestinians have been murdered and abused in the thousands by the Israeli state, which makes it no different than India and its actions in Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir (IIOK). The Modi government is now taking pages straight out of the Israeli playbook, on how to subjugate and disenfranchise an entire people. With domicile certificates being issued in the thousands ever since registration was opened for non-Kashmiri citizens, the Indian state has basically started on long-term ambitions to change the demography of the region.

It is clear then, not much is different in IIOK, compared to Palestine. It is important that we continue to voice support for both. For us to abandon one would mean forsaking the other, and this will never be accepted by the people or state of Pakistan.