Normalizing Ties with Israel: Pakistan’s Stance

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“Pakistan will never recognize Israel until Palestinians are given their right of a just settlement.” This was the statement given by Prime Minister Imran Khan after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain established relations with Israel.

“The speed at which Israel and UAE moved forward towards normalization stunned everyone in Pakistan. Almost everyone in Pakistan is convinced that the Saudis tacitly endorsed the Abraham Accords that paved the way for UAE-Israel relations.”

Pakistan, an Islamic Republic state, has declined to establish diplomatic relations with Israel since its establishment in May 1948. The agreements Israel signed with Egypt in 1978, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993, and Jordan in 1994, did not change Pakistan’s policy. At first, Arab countries were united against Israel in their support for the Palestinians, but now they are considering the normalization of ties. In this list, Saudi Arabia was the first Arab state to put normalization with Israel on the table. The agreement signed between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain formalizes the relationships which are already in place, with the US is leading the initiative.

Not long time ago, the idea of Gulf countries having friendly relations with Israel was unthinkable. In 1948, Israel expelled around 750,000 Palestinians from their land and declares itself a state. The Palestinian Liberation Organization, which had taken shape during the 1960s to look for a Palestinian state, battled against Israel. At first, the PLO demanded all of what had been British Palestine, which meant it needed to end the state of Israel altogether. The PLO later said it would acknowledge distributing the land among Israel and Palestine, yet the contention preceded. As the entirety of this was going on, something sensational was changing in the Israel-involved Palestinian domains; Israelis were moving in. These individuals are called pilgrims and they made their homes in the West Bank and Gaza whether the Palestinians wanted them or not. Some moved for strict reasons, some because they need to guarantee the land for Israel and some since lodging is modest and regularly financed by the Israeli government. Today, a few hundred thousand pioneers are residents of the area even though the international community considers them unlawful.

The United Nations has expressed on numerous events that the 53-year-old Israeli occupation is the wellspring of significant human rights infringement against the Palestinian individuals. These infringements incorporate land appropriation, pioneer viciousness, oppressive laws, the reallocation of characteristic assets, home tear-downs, persuasive populace move, exorbitant utilization of power and torment, work abuse, broad encroachments of protection rights, and much more. Palestinian and Israeli human rights activists, who calmly carry out open objection to these infringements, are criticized, condemned, or marked as psychological militants. Most importantly, the Israeli occupation has implied the forswearing of the privilege of Palestinian self-assurance.

Previously, Saudi Arabia in particular has stood by the Palestinians’ cause but now, as Mohammad Bin Salman is in charge, the new guard of Saudi Arabia has other plans. In comparison, Pakistan has advocated for a two-state solution, as discussed in the Security Council and General Assembly goals, the Foreign Office (FO) reviewed and set out to proceed until Palestinians get their due rights, including the privilege of self-determination. Pakistan’s stance is very clear in this crisis; it fully supports the proposal of the creation of an independent Palestinian state. The Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said, “Peace and stability in the Middle East is Pakistan’s priority. There has been no change in Pakistan’s principled position on Palestine. We are committed to recognising all the rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to vote.”

According to Ambassador Munir Akram, as illicit Israeli settlements venture into the involved Palestinian region, the vision of a two-state arrangement is as a rule efficiently decreased into a one-state reality. The universal network must keep on advancing the point of making a reasonable sovereign and bordering Palestinian state living next to each other with Israel in harmony and security.

Firstly, and most importantly, to resolve any issue we must diagnose the real problem. It is essential to recall that there is no ‘Palestine issue’ but instead an ‘Israeli colonial problem’. Things are quite clear from the past that colonialism cannot remain till eternity. The same goes for Israel; it will end its occupation similarly as every single major power ended theirs. There are many countries that are pressurizing Pakistan to recognize Israel and suggesting that there are no permanent friends or enemies in international relations. What stands in the way of normalization is Islamabad’s long record of comparing the Palestinian fight for self-determination to the same struggle in the Indian-controlled areas of Kashmir. Normalizing relations with Israel before addressing the Palestinian problem would strip Pakistan of the justifications it has used to strengthen its arguments against Kashmir. Earlier this month, Imran Khan said that serious discussion of diplomatic relations with Israel would have to wait until a reasonable resolution meets the Palestinians.

The pervasive feeling in Islamabad is that Gulf countries have discarded their common support for pan-Islamic causes, such as Kashmir and Palestine, leaving Pakistan to take up the mantle of championing Muslim voices – a position that Islamabad is happy to play. For Pakistan, Kashmir and Israeli Colonial problem have the same value; the stance of Pakistan on Palestine crisis can directly impact Pakistan’s position on Kashmir. The tide is changing but labelling everything in black or white and being hasty can bring consequences for Pakistan.

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Daniyal Talat
About Daniyal Talat 1 Article
I am Daniyal Talat. I have done my Masters in Defense and Strategic Studies from Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad. Currently, working as an Ambassador for Center for Global & Strategic Studies.

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