PARIS (Apr. 26)
Pakistan has barred a European Parliamentary commission from entering its territory and meeting with Afghani refugees because the head of the commission is a Jewish deputy associated with Israel. The European Parliament in Strasbourg said it cancelled the visit which was due to have gone to Pakistan this week.
The group barred from Pakistan is chaired by Paris Gaullist Deputy Gerard Israel, secretary general of the Alliance Israelite Universelle. He is also one of the lay leaders of the Council of Major Jewish Organizations in France (CRIF).
Pakistan informed Belgium, whose Foreign Minister currently heads the European Economic Community’s Council of Ministers, that it will not permit Gerard Israel to enter because of his “close links with Israel.” Belgium tried through its ambassador to Pakistan to have the decision shelved.
When Pakistan refused, the European Parliament decided to cancel the mission altogether. Several deputies have asked Western European governments to reconsider their financial help and humanitarian assistance to the refugee camps in Pakistan.