Aljazeera.Net - Pakistani delegation visits Israel:
A 174-member Pakistani delegation has arrived in Tel Aviv, Aljazeera's correspondent in Islamabad reported. The non-official delegation includes religious scholars, political figures, retired officers and businessmen, the correspondent said on Saturday.
Pakistan took a bold step on 1 September when its Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri met his Israeli counterpart Silvan Shalom for the first time in Turkey, a diplomatic breakthrough that both sides at the time said was the result of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
Shalom said after the talks that he hoped the historic event would encourage other Muslim countries to open ties with Israel.
At Thursday's meeting, Rosen told the Pakistani leader that Israel wanted to establish diplomatic, trade and economic ties with Islamabad. But Musharraf "clearly told him that
establishment of an independent Palestinian state was a must for any forward movement" in this regard, Sultan said.
The president, General Pervez Musharraf, made his remarks at a meeting with US Jewish leader Jack Rosen, chairman of the Council of World Jewry, during a meeting near the Pakistani
capital, Islamabad, on Thursday, said General Shaukat Sultan, chief spokesman for the
"Rosen informed Musharraf that the Jewish community in America was collecting donations for the victims of the 8 October earthquake.
Pakistan declined an offer of direct aid from Israel after the quake, but said it could send aid through international relief organisations. Pakistan did not invite Israel to an 18-19 November donors conference in Islamabad that sought more help for what is expected to be a years-long effort to rebuild quake-hit areas."