by Tahir Mustafa (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 49, No. 10, Rabi' al-Thani, 1442)
Last month Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed that his government was under pressure from ‘brotherly’ countries to recognise the State of Israel. While he did not name the countries, it is not difficult to guess who was behind the pressure. The US is Israel’s guardian angel and financier and has always shielded it from international opprobrium no matter how egregious the Zionist crimes.
Who else could be behind this campaign? We can safely rule out the two-bit player Bahrain that “normalized” relations with the Zionist entity. It is barely a dot on the world map. Pakistan would not even give it a second look. Similarly, Turkey, another Pakistani ally, can also be ruled out despite Ankara maintaining diplomatic and trade relations with the Zionist entity. That leave the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Najdi Bedouins (aka Bani Saud). While the UAE has established links and followed with flights as well as visits, the Bani Saud have been pushing for Zionist Israel’s recognition even if they are coy about taking the step themselves.
Before we address the question of why the Bani Saud would want Pakistan to recognize Israel ahead of them and what its implications would be for Islamabad, let us consider what the Pakistani prime minister said on November 13. He revealed: “We have been under pressure from friendly countries to recognise Israel, however, we will not do so without a fair settlement to the Palestinians.” He hinted at matters related to the countries that recognise Israel but declined to go into details “due to brotherly ties that we do not want to damage.”
Inside Pakistan, there is a body of opinion that has been pushing for Israel’s recognition. The secularists, a tiny parasitical class, that have usurped almost all state resources, are clamouring to recognize Israel. Many are on the Zionists’ payroll, just as they receive bakhsheesh from the Hindus in India. These people have no loyalty to Pakistan, only to their pockets. That is also the reason why they keep peddling American propaganda even though the US has used Pakistan and betrayed at every critical juncture.
Even within Pakistan’s ruling circles, there are those that say that Islamabad should establish diplomatic relations with the Tel Aviv regime. Their argument is that Pakistani diplomats should be present in Tel Aviv to neutralize India’s influence that has had relations with the Zionist entity since 1957. And now, the Hindu-Zionist alliance has reached dizzying heights. India is the largest importer of Israeli weapons.
The other argument the Pakistani secularists advance is that several Arab regimes have established diplomatic ties with Israel so why not Islamabad? These are all flawed arguments and if followed through, would create more problems for Pakistan than has hitherto been the case without diplomatic ties. In any case, the overwhelming majority of people in Pakistan are opposed to Zionist occupation of Palestine.
Let us deal with the point about Arab regimes establishing ties with Israel, so why not Pakistan. Islamabad has not established diplomatic ties with the Zionist entity as a matter of principle. The Zionists are illegal occupiers of Palestine, just like the Hindu Nazis are in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan’s position was not to curry favour with the Arabian rulers that have no shame or self-respect. In any case, the winds of change will blow them away, sooner rather than later. The racist ideology of Zionism is also destined to a similar fate.
Saudi pressure on Pakistan is meant to pave the way for them to also come out of purdah. They already have deep informal relations but for the Zionists that is not good enough. They demand formal recognition. The cowardly Bedouins want Pakistan to provide them cover. Islamabad should not oblige.
The argument that the presence of Pakistani diplomats in Tel Aviv will help neutralize Indian mischief confers too much importance on the Zionists. Pakistan should not place its interests at the non-existent mercies of the Zionists. Instead, Pakistan should do everything in its power to defeat the racist ideology of Zionism. It should join hands with countries like Islamic Iran to advance this principled position.
True, in 2005, then Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf had a brief encounter with then Israeli Prime Minister Arial Sharon at the United Nations. The two shook hands and exchanged greetings. The two countries’ foreign ministers had met a week earlier in New York where the Zionist urged his Pakistani counterpart to consider establishing formal ties.
Regardless of the shameless conduct of the Arabian rulers, for Pakistan to recognize Israel would mean complete betrayal of the Kashmiri cause. After all, Palestine and Kashmir are identical causes: both are illegally occupied by alien invaders. If Pakistan were to recognize Israel’s occupation of Palestine, what argument would it have left to challenge India’s occupation of Kashmir?
It needs recalling that Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the great visionary and philosopher who propounded the idea of a separate homeland for the Muslims of India as early as December 1930, had written to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, President of the All-India Muslim League, about British machinations in Palestine.
In his letter dated October 7, 1937, Iqbal wrote: “The Palestine question is very much agitating the minds of the Muslims… I have no doubt that the League will pass a strong resolution on this question and also by holding a private conference of the leaders decide on some sort of a positive action in which the masses may share in large numbers. This will at once popularise the League and may help the Palestine Arabs. Personally, I would not mind going to jail on an issue which affects Islam and India. The formation of a Western base on the very gates of the East is a menace to both.” (G. Allana [ed]: Pakistan Movement: Historical Documents, Karachi, 1968; pp.146-147, quoted by Dr. Ghulam Ali Chaudhry in his paper, ‘Iqbal and Jinnah on Palestine’)
If Pakistan were to recognize Zionist Israel, it would not only lose any remaining respect among the Palestinians and freedom-loving people worldwide but will also betray Allama Iqbal, the visionary who gave the idea of Pakistan.