Academic journal article South Asian Studies

Pakistan and the Question of Recognising Israel: Historical Issues and Future Prospects

Academic journal article South Asian Studies

Pakistan and the Question of Recognising Israel: Historical Issues and Future Prospects

Article excerpt

Abstract

Historically speaking Pakistan and Israel are not directly engaged in any hostility or clash with each other. Pakistan did not recognise Israel since its inception because of her consistent support to Palestine issue and its apprehension that India Israel connections are against her security, ultimately shattering sub-continental balance of power. During General Musharraf regime, the debate to recognise Israel was on high side. It had been debated at academic, official as well as public levels. It was believed at that time that if Pakistan accord recognition to sate of Israel, the sensitivities associated with the issue might change. The cost and advantage quotient of recognition were kept in mind and discussed openly. During Musharraf regime and onwards, the moot point in Pakistan has been the cost benefit analysis of recognition. The existing world scenario has changed the ground realities and placed Pakistan in a difficult situation that how it can move closer to Israel without abandoning historical stand on Palestinian cause. It is also believed that if the transformation and change in Pakistan's policy is not hasty, only then it might be more productive and successful. The eventuality of recognising Israel might spur the sentiments of public and it may take some time to have popular placement in our society By analysing different and conflicting view points, this paper will investigate primarily the debate held during Musharraf era in the light of historical background and shall see what course Pakistan should take on in this regard after assessing pros and cons of recognition. After going through different approaches on the subject, this will also contribute whether Pakistan should shift her stance about Israel or otherwise.

Key words: Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, recognition, Arab factor.

Introduction

Legitimacy of Israel as a sovereign state has been a controversial issue since her inception particularly in the Muslim world. They believed that State of Israel was an imposed decision. Pakistan categorically supported the cause of Palestinian on the basis of ideological associations. In this way, Pakistan responded Arabs by not recognising Israel. During initial days of their occurrence on world map, both countries suffered problems and faced difficult situations. Millions were displaced, murdered and raped. No place was given to Palestinians in Israel and Kashmir remained an un-finished agenda of Indian partition (The Kashmir Telegraph, April, 2004). Most part of Pakistan's support to Palestine is due to history - that Muslims of the subcontinent in their own independence struggle- identified themselves strongly to the Arab Islamic world. Both, Indian National Congress (Hereinafter INC) and All India Muslim League (Hereinafter AIML) showed their harmony with the Palestinian people during their freedom struggle. It is quite exciting to note that both political parties were against the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine but having different reasons to think upon. Their approaches and positions during independence movement reflected their foreign policy directions on this issue even after their independence in 1947. The Muslims in India had a flavour of the British manoeuvrings and were the first to lift their voice against such deliberate injustice being meted out to the Palestinians. AIML put across its fear for the "safety and sanctity of Holy Places" soon Mr. Balfour proclaimed British help for a national home for Jews in Palestine(Pirzada, 1969, p442). AIML did not ignore Palestinians even during historic session of March 1940 when the Indian Muslims gathered at Lahore and made the remarkable decision about their approaching days. They expressed their worry on "the inordinate delay on the part of the British Government in coming to a settlement with the Arabs in Palestine." (Pirzada, 1970, p 346). AIML reiterated their support to Palestinian cause whenever they get any chance of doing so. …

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