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Recognizing Israel

03 September, 2005

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Pakistan and Israel had their first-ever "official" high-level talks in Istanbul on Thursday in a bid to normalize ties following latter’s pullout from the Gaza Strip.

Though, the meeting was considered the first-ever contact between the two ideological states which do not recognise each other, however, a backdoor diplomacy between the two governments was continuing for last various years. A Karachi-based defence analyst and a senior religious scholar from Lahore had been shuttling between Islamabad and Tel Aviv via Jordan during last four years.

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Kasuri met in Istanbul for what they called ‘historic’ talks arranged after Turkey played a mediating role to bring them together.

At a joint press conference with Mr Shalom, Mr Kasuri hailed the withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip, which he said constituted a turning point for the establishment of a Palestinian state. However, the Israeli minister did not mention whether the Zionist state is going to pull out from remaining over 130 settlements.

On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority says it is ‘worried’ about Pakistan’s first diplomatic contact with Israel as the Jewish state continues to occupy east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

“It is not good to give Israel gifts before it really implements the peace process, not only in Gaza, but, the West Bank and Jerusalem,” deputy prime minister Nabil Shaath told reporters.

The Islamic Resistance Movement of Hamas has also denounced the meeting and urged Pakistan not to fall into the trap of seeing the Gaza pullout as synonymous with the end of occupation.

Although, Pakistan says its position on the Middle East crisis remains unchanged that calls for an independent Palestinian state with Al Quds as its capital, however, according to analysts, this sudden meeting has raised the doubts that Pakistan may change its stance as it did in case of Kashmir.

Israel has full diplomatic relations with three Arab states — Mauritania, Egypt and Jordan — and a handful of Muslim majority states, including Turkey.

1) Do you think it was the right time to commence dialogue with Israel?

2) What is your opinion about Palestinian leaders’ reaction on the meeting?

3) Do you see any US pressure on Pakistan in this connection.

4) Do you think the move aims to counter the growing Indo-Israel relations? .

5) What kind of reaction General Musharraf may face in the backlash of this new adventure?

Reader Comments:

I cannot say the right or wrong time about dialogue,, palestinian leaders are also right in their opinion, still the meeting between the secretries is optimistic , but there is a lot of un certainity and the picture cannot be seen and should be commented,clearly about this new step.

kashif imam, United Kingdom - 03 September, 2005

it is a very good idea to have diplomatic contacts with isreal,as this will give pakistan some influence,with regards the plastinains.
by the way please lets get together and beseech ALLAH Almigty to take qazi hussain now and give him paradise or something else

yaqub, United Arab Emirates - 03 September, 2005

does not matter

i think there is no harm in recognizing israel because a lot of muslim countries had already recognized it.IF WE can recognize india, which is our bigger enemy and we had already fought three wars with him then what is the problem in recognizing israel.We have never being in war with israel.

mohsin, Canada - 04 September, 2005

Its so nice of Israel

Pakistan should feel optimist that Israel is interested in seeking relations with Pakistan in a world. I give full credit for this to President Musharraf. Pakistan should be aware of that if he is gone, these Mullahs will take over and all the progressive people of Pakistan will start running to other coutries.

Nice Israel, Pakistan - 04 September, 2005

Two nation theory?

Since the golden handshake in
Ankara,Pakistan recognized
Israel.What now is left to exchange envoys and establish
commerce.That Pakistan can wait and watch Israel's move
in and around the West Bank and return Syria's territory.
Some Palestinian leaders can
react as they did when Egypt
and Jordon established full relations with Israel.Their
late leader Arafat extended and shook hands with Israel's
late Rabin.This opened the doors between two adversaries
each recognizing the other.If
Pakistan took the same step,she only followed those
Arab states who had battled thrice in vain and recognized
their folly and instead of repeating the same mistake.It
prevailed upon them to have
the moral courage and extend the hand of friendship.May be
this time there was greater
pressure by WashingtonDC,than
anyother time.Perhaps other
Pakistani leaders did not see
or consider relations with Israel on broader sense.Such
as playing a role of mediator
as played in 1971 to bring
People's Republic of China and United States of America
on the same table.Today both
nations are largest trading
partners.Relations must be built on equity,not to hamper
third party needs.Musharraf
will face strong oppostion in
his own court and from other
blocks. How he acts toward the blunt reaction and how he
is supported by the media of
the Arab nations will help him overcome this hurdle.We
can only hope that there is a
divine awakening in Israel to
make the people force their
government to return all the
land they occupied in 1967.

Khalid Rahim, Canada - 04 September, 2005

Israel Exists in Quran

All I know that the word, "Israel" exists in our holy book "Quran"

I think in essence, every muslim recognizes the existence of Israel, however, perhaps we don't know under which boundaries it should remain confined interms of Geographical location.

Again in terms of timing for initiating dialogue, I think it's always a right time to give peace a chance and this is what Pakistan is all doing by initiating a dialogue with Israel and India. We are a peaceful nation and want to see peace everywhere.

Our Prophet Muhammad (May Peace be upon him and his progeny) has always taken the initiative in the process of dialogue, so I am glad that we are moving in the right direction.

These minority extremist elements in our society will always create a fuss about any such initiatives, but the bottom line is that we all are a part of a Global village and only dialogue can save us from the act of violence.

Gone are the days when we as Muslims invaded countries to raise the flag of Islam and similarly gone are the days for Americans and Zionists to invade such lands and occupy it forcefully, it just can't happen any more.

World is becoming too small for anyone to further expand !

Agha, Pakistan - 05 September, 2005


I would counsel Pakistan to proceed with cautious optimism, after the overt official contact with Israel recently in Turkey. Realistically, these high level contacts do not happen overnight! It has been reported many times that Pakistan has had an ongoing secret and back channel dialogue with Israel for sometime, now. The media has also reported that Pakistan has bought arms from Israel in the past and therefore had contact. Ask yourself this question! What is wrong with this? Nothing at all. It is time for Pakistan to look out for itself! Other "Muslim" countries have. Iran has sold oil to Israel since the time of the Shah, continuing to date! Countries of the Emirates have conducted different levels of commerce with Israel. Kuwait & Saudi Arabia have sold oil to Israel. Again, Pakistan has to look out for itself. Frankly, "our Arab/Muslim Brethren" have always backed India throughout, infact Palestinian leader Arafat openly voiced his preference of India over Pakistan. Pakistanis need to awaken to reality and set aside emotional relegiosity and understand ties with Israel will gain them a lot. Internationally, Pakistan will have established itself a leader, amongst Muslim countries, won tremendous favor with the powerful West, mainly the US (even beyond, as anti terrorist partners), and benefit a great deal in maintaining a balance with India. India for a great number of years has had an on going relationship with Israel, mostly of a military nature. Even, Pakistan's greatest ally and friend China has a multi-level relationship with Israel. Pakistan's relationship with Israel can definitely help balance this advantage that India currently has. Finally, with this contact, Pakistan can influence, facilitate and assist the Palestinian statehood issue. The Palestinians and the Saudis rubberstamped this contact in Turkey. Successful establishment of a Palestinian state with Pakistan playing a major role in it, will certainly help establish Pakistan as a leader in and of the Muslim world! Pakistan should proceed with caution and negotiate, for itself a good deal! I say go for it!

redauqs, United Kingdom - 05 September, 2005

A very good idea

Pakistan should recoginze Israel. If other mulims can why not us? Israel has done no harm to Pakistan. What do we care. Secondly Pakistan should eliminate MMA Mullah Party. These handful of Mullah are the real problem for 120 million pakistani. They should be eliminated. What good these mullahs have done for anyone. All they have done is introducing Shriah and Hasba bill. Both crap. One takes away women rights and other Human being rights. These mullahs need to go to Afghanistan or we all pray to Allah that please take them. Musharaf is the best thing every happened to Pakistan. Lastly a question to Benazir and Nawaz Sharif followers. Can someone please tell me what have they done for the country? Nawaz was busy with film actress and building 9 kithcens in his house. He destroyed the nation. Benazir's husband the real ruler corrupt person in the world was busy buying homes from Pakistan's foreign exchange. Please backoff from these corrupt politicians and idiot mulahs. We all are muslims and don't want an enducated mullah to tell us about our reliegion. Long live Pakistan and Musharaff.

Atif, United Kingdom - 05 September, 2005

Positive Thinking

Our Prophet (PBUH) Traded with the Jews and so did His Wife. I don't Understand what is Stopping us. In addition, the Hindus are not even Ahle- KITAB, but the Jews are. There is no Problem in Recognizing Isreal if they Create Palestine.

There is a Majot partnership right now of USA-Isreal-INdia. The Muslims must re think the Policies. If we don't have relations with them, they will not Listen to us.

Relations with Isreal is for the Betterment of the Muslim Community at Large. Let those Mullhas Speak. What have the Mullhas ever said anything Supoorting the Quran in the 1st Place.

Hamza, Canada - 06 September, 2005

Now...Isreal using Pak

Pakistan has traditionally been used by US and China to counter again USSR and India. Now Israel is using us against Iran. We should not fall into this trap and turn our backs to Islamic States like what we did for Afghanistan and Iraq. US and Israel are always looking for benefit. No matter what, they will continue to use us and help India build arms to counter China. Pakistan cannot change this by meeting a few officials in Israel. It has to worry mkre about relationship with Iran than Israel.

Aftab, Cyprus - 06 September, 2005

It all depends on Israel's attitude

Pakistan should try to play a possitive role in middle east conflict and Impress upon Israel to withdraw from occupied lands and Alquds in Particular ...if Israel answers possitively then Pakistan should Assist them with all they could include recognation by Pakistan and Muslim world in general.

Fasih Ali Khan, Pakistan - 06 September, 2005


India used to be called the 13th arab state.Those were the days when palestine declared itself a secular nation while Isreal was a pariah zionist state desperate for friends.The Day palestine struggle became an islamic crusade Palestine lost its glamour.The days of George habbash, hannan ashrafi,Shiek hassein are long gone.Isreal has won and now it is better for all muslim countries to accept the reality of isreal.India realised it only recently and now Pakistan has realised it. This will be a stabilising factor in the subcontinent.

captain johann, Hungary - 06 September, 2005

Expected Recognition of Israel Part of Agenda Given to Musharraf

Pakistan held first ever formal and public contacts with Israel in Istanbul on September 1 at its own request brokered by Turkey. Officially described as a historic breakthrough, Islamabad has claimed that it had the backing of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and President Mahmood Abbas of the Palestinian State Authority. While Saudis have not yet come out publicly whether Pakistan's initiative had their support, a spokesman of the PLA, however, has nailed Islamabad's claim that the move had the blessing of President Mahmood Abbas.

The Palestinian Authority said on Thursday that it was "worried" about Pakistan's making high-level diplomatic contact with Israel despite its occupation of east Jerusalem and the West Bank. "It is not good to give Israel gifts before it really implements the peace process, not only in Gaza, but in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem," deputy prime minister Nabil Shaath told the press. "We are worried about this because it's not a good time to start relations with Israel."

The West Bank leader of Islamist fundamentalist movement Hamas denounced the meeting and urged Islamic and Arab states not to fall into the trap of seeing the Gaza pullout as synonymous with the end of occupation as naively or advertently understood by Pakistani leader General Musharraf and his Foreign Minister Mian Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri.

We condemn any relationship between an Islamic state and the Israelis and we ask Pakistan to go back on this agreement, especially as the Palestinian people have not yet been given their rights," said Hamas spokesman Hassan Yussef.

In this context Assistant of Secretary of State Christina Rocca had not minced her words during her last visit to Islamabad where she made it categorically known in the shadow of countrywide allegations of massive pre-poll rigging in the local bodies elections, that the United States would like to see 2007 general elections to be completely transparent with even playing field for all the political parties and leaders.

Israel's recognition is thus around the corner, not far away, a matter of months and not years. Not that, such a recognition would help Islamabad much though it would definitely help Musharraf's personally as the man who can deliver. When in Washington later this month, he would have a very depressive tale to tell to his bosses how much he had personally to suffer for fulfilling Israeli part of the agenda assigned to him.

When one looks at the speed behind his moves, it seems that Musharraf is half way through his agenda. He has already made solution of Kashmir issue easier by surrendering to India Pakistan's traditional stand on the UN resolution for plebiscite in Kashmir, not many years ago for the civilian leaders it was something non-negotiable and sacrosanct.

With the end of Cold War, Washington's Israel and Indian policies acquired a new thrust. Pakistan under a civilian and democratically elected Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was well oriented to rationalize its foreign policy objectives and pursue its goals to acquire greater respect in the comity of nations. While Bhutto stood by her independence, Pakistan's much too interfering military establishment went the other way. Though she refused to accept its dictations, it pursued its own agenda, both overtly and covertly, on Kashmir, relations with India, Israel and Afghanistan with Taliban in power was its sole domain beyond the reach of Pakistan's Foreign Office. She did not realize that those very Quislings who had been responsible for making a horrible example of her father would make her homeless.

In conclusion, I share the view expressed by PPP spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar on the meeting of the two foreign ministers in Istanbul that interfaith dialogue is the need of the time. However, no unilateral decisions should be taken on issues that will have an impact both domestically and in the Muslim world.

Had the regime taken its langri-looli (handicapped, lame) Parliament into confidence, its decision would have become more credible. On important foreign policy issues, solo flight and individual decisions need to be avoided. Indeed, it is ironic that a regime that criticized former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto for meeting with a former Israeli Prime Minister at a Socialist International Conference has now sought the good offices of Turkey to facilitate the meeting with the Foreign Minister of Israel. An apology to Ms Bhutto would surely be in order.

Kashif Shah
Electronics Engineer graduated from Sir Syed Engineering University

Kashif Shah, San Marino - 07 September, 2005

recognition of isreal

Recognition of Isreal will create positive atmosphere in order to resolve Mid-East conflict. Pakistan's credibilty will improve significantly in East and West. Pakistan will be accepted as a impartial mediater by both parties, Isreal and Palistine.
Dipolmatic realtion are usefull for all including Arab, Isreal and Pakistan.
It's clear that we cannot continue to deny the fact that isolation of Isreal did not and will not benefit anyone.
Pakistani government must understand that there is opposition at home, they can voice their opinion but should not be allowed to make it an issue.

zulfiqar A Tanoli, United Kingdom - 09 September, 2005

Shocking concession to Israel

At this stage, when Israel is continuing its despicable policy of subjugating the Palestinians, any concession to it by Muslim states is shameful. The meeting of Pakistani Foreign Minister with his Israeli counterpart is not only shocking but a disgrace. It has stunned our people and made us look like cretins in the Muslim world. It is also a slap on the face of the Palestinians and their just resistance. It rewards Israel for doing nothing more extra ordinary than strengthening its security.

The canard that this opening is part of a inter faith dialogue is really an insult to our intelligence. PPP and elements in the government have tried to hide behind it. Israel is a political entity. It has nothing to do with relationship with the Jews. Addressing an American Jewish organisation is opening an inter faith dialogue but rewarding Israel is not.

There are some who will argue that why should we be concerned about the Palestinians. Why should we put ourselves at a disadvantage because of a people who are far away? In other words, why don't we get something for ourselves if we can? This is so unprincipled and deeply cynical that one would like to dismiss it out of hand but let us examine it and see what we get in return for letting down the Palestinians.

Advantage one: The Israelis start to like us and ditch their strategic relationship with India. Answer: This is not going to happen so let us forget about it. Israel may pay lip service to relations with Pakistan but its partner is India.

Advantage two: the Jews in the US start to like us. Answer: Yes, this is likely and will be helpful to Pakistan (and to General Musharraf personally) in the American congress and with the President. However, this does not mean an increase in aid levels or more weaponry coming our way. The American establishment is wary of Pakistan and will always keep it on a short leash.

Advantage three: United States is very pleased with us and will change its emerging strategic partnership with India. Highly unlikely. US is looking 50 years ahead and sees India as an important counterweight to a powerful China. We do not figure anywhere in this calculation. Why should the US change its long term strategic direction just because we are becoming friends with Israel?

Advantage four: With the world Jewry on our side, the charge that Pakistan is a hotbed of terrorism would be diluted. Maybe to an extent but the advantage will again accrue not to us as a nation but to General Musharraf. In fact, the greatest beneficiary of this opening to Israel is the General. He would be looked at as kindly in the west as Sadat was or Hosni Mobarak is. This does not mean that Pakistan will benefit.

The only treasure of a virgin is chastity. The only power of the weak are principles. If they are abandoned, nothing is left. We have torn apart our moral stand and are the poorer for it.

The truly sad part is that we will not even get enough wages for our sin.

Abdulah, United Kingdom - 13 September, 2005

Not sure

Being a Isamlic State pakistan must do what all other islamic state think is correct.

Desi, Hungary - 14 September, 2005

If the relationship goes through, Israel should open its education institutes to Pakistani students.

Abbas, United Arab Emirates - 15 September, 2005

Ties with Israel

Pakistan is an independent country and do have its own agenda what to do best for the national interests. When the time is right Pakistan will take necesssary steps and I do support it fully to recognize Israel and have trade ties with that State. Other muslim countries are not like Pakistan. Pakistan is seventh Nuclear Power and very stable and strong country in the region and must play a role where whole of the continent and world appreciates the steps taken by the government. Gen. Musharaf and his team is well aware of the world situtation and changing world and will do accordingly.

mohammad akram, United Arab Emirates - 18 September, 2005

comment of an average white american, not Jewish, not Zionist

Pervez Musharraf is the most brilliant leader in the world, so if he thinks this new policy toward Israel is a good idea, my view is: It must be so. Pres. Musharraf's opponents in Pakistan will laugh at my remark and think I am joking: I am not. Haven't you noticed, opponents, that Pervez Musharraf does not make mistakes? If he did, he'd have been gone from the scene a long time ago and Pakistan would be burning. Instead you have improvements in your national situation on every front: India front, Kashmir front, Afghan front, domestic economic front: Everywhere you look things are better than they were. Pakistanis would be wise to realize what a treasure they have in this great leader. I will never forget his speech after 9/11, when he asked the Pakistani nation to trust him as he offered Pakistan's support to the US effort in Afghanistan. “Trust me,” he said, “As you trusted me when I went to Agra.” If things do not work out as planned, Pervez Musharraf is not ashamed of coming home empty handed. He won his nation's trust at Agra, and now he is well along in his strategy to win the world's trust in Pakistan. Count your blessings, Pakistanis, and count Pervez Musharraf as one of your greatest blessings,.
Nombert, New York

Nombert DePluume, United Kingdom - 18 September, 2005

he guys, im in chicago now, but from israel.

i think boycott and ignoring anyone in a peace process is wrong, i hope pakistan can recongnize israel and establish little reltions with israel, just so it can play a role in the middle east peace.

jews and muslims always had good reltions with each other, past 50 years were little in the shadow, but now its time to bring the light back on.

salem alkihem guys! :)

Dimitry Glater, Iraq - 18 September, 2005

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