Will Pakistan become the next Muslim-majority nation to recognize Israel? Probably not, but if Pakistanis look at the issue controversially, they will see that exchanging ambassadors with Jerusalem makes perfect sense.
Decisions by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco to normalize relations with Israel have led to speculation that Pakistan is preparing to follow suit. In a television interview in November, Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to the US to recognize Israel under “pressure” and the unnamed nations “with whom we have good relations”. Many commentators believe that they mean Saudi Arabia and the UAE
In the same month, the question of generalization was also raised by prominent Pakistani journalists. Given the subject’s sensitivity, and the reluctance of most journalists to risk military displeasure, it indicates that Pakistan’s powerful generals probably instructed their mouthpiece to float a trial balloon.
But Islamabad is unlikely to move forward. In his November interview, Mr Khan said that recognizing Israel would depend on “bus settlement” for Pakistan Palestinians. In December, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that he had told the Emirati foreign minister that Pakistan “cannot establish relations with Israel and cannot establish relations with Israel unless the Palestine issue is concrete and A permanent solution is not found. “
Pakistan’s hostility towards Israel lies itself in the concept of Islamic republic as a pawn of global pan-Islamism. The instability solidarity with the Palestinians has long been the foundation of Pakistani foreign policy.
At the United Nations, Pakistan unsuccessfully acted to thwart the creation of a Jewish state, beginning a long tradition of opposing Israel in international forums. Pakistan has prohibited its citizens from traveling to Israel. On the road, conspiracy theorists blamed the so-called US Kosher Daily-America, Israel and India for Pakistan’s problems. Upon protest, the Israeli flag, blue and white, dies with stars and stripes for the inflammatory gaze of Islamist fundamentalists.
But when the place of Islamabad can be completely stubborn, the world is moving forward. Before Israel was recognized in 19 Before 7, more than half of the world’s population lived in countries that had not established full diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. Today – thanks in large part to normalization with China and India in 1992 – it accounts for only 15% of the global population. Muslim-majority Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and the UAE have all seen the light. A synergy between Pakistan and Israel would also be welcomed by Washington and Democrats and Republicans. The strike did not increase the influence of Pakistan. This reduces it.
The most recent round of Israeli-relations normalization in the Middle East also owes much to Pakistan’s most liberal Arab beneficiaries: both Saudi Arabia and the UAE oil-rich Gulf countries felt that an expansionist Iran would be too big for regional stability for Jerusalem. Pose a threat. The Saudis have particularly helped keep the Pakistani economy away from debt and oil debt for decades. Last year, Saudi Arabia and Emirates made more than half of Pakistan’s $ 23.1 billion remittances.
Mr Khan may have more sympathy for his favorite pan-Islamic causes – such as France-like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoआनan to maintain freedom of speech or to establish a global TV network to “fight Islamophobia” And Mahathir Mohammed, former Prime Minister of Malaysia. But the Saudis and the Amirites help pay the bills.
More than seven decades after independence, Pakistan remains poor (per capita income is less than $ 1,300) and heavily rural. Israel can provide it with high-end agricultural and medical technologies. Weapons transfer may be difficult, but not out of the question, given Israel’s deep defense ties with India.
What about the moral dimension? Some Pakistanis feel a sense of religious solidarity with the Palestinians, but the idea that Pakistan follows a values-based foreign policy is laughable. Islamabad consistently ignores what is the most egregious violation of Muslim human rights on the planet — the Chinese repression of the Uygars in Xinjiang.
Finally, Pakistan’s refusal to recognize Israel is a symptom of a major mistake — a foreign policy devoted to an ideology rather than to the good of Pakistanis. Over the years, it has led Islamabad to aid Iran’s nuclear program, withdraw the Taliban attack on Afghanistan, and underline the bloody insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir. The blow from the creation of jihadist infrastructure to support these efforts continues to hurt Pakistan. On Sunday, Islamic State militants slaughtered 11 miners of the minority Shia Hazara community in Balochistan province, who appear unwilling or unable to stop Islamabad.
Against this backdrop, recognizing Israel becomes a danger bell for the health of Pakistan’s domestic politics, including its desire to stand radical in its midst. When it finally happens, if it does, peace with Israel will be a sign that Pakistan is ready to make peace with itself and the world.
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Printed on 8 January 2021, ed.