Logic Dictates that Pakistan Should Re-examine Its Attitude toward Israel – Kamran Bokhari and Tamir Libel (Daily Times-Pakistan)
Rumors about a secret Israeli visit to Pakistan have provided us with the opportunity to publish this piece that we have been holding back on for nearly a year.
Like many of their Arab and Muslim brethren, Pakistanis view Israel as the enemy. Geopolitics, however, is anything but an emotional exercise; rather it is the art of skillfully pursuing the national interest.
Pakistan’s policy on the Israeli-Palestinian issue remains frozen in time, while many Arab and Muslim states have assumed a pragmatic attitude towards the issue. Israel is not the one shunning Pakistan. It is the other way around. It is high time that Pakistan re-examine its stance.
There is no evidence that Israel has ever acted against Pakistan. The Israeli motivation for forging ties with India is because it needs all the allies it can get, and close relations with the world’s soon-to-be most populous nation is something that the Jewish state will logically pursue.
The largest Arab state, Egypt, normalized relations with Israel since the 1978 peace treaty. In 1994, Jordan formalized its long behind-the-scenes relations with Israel. Pakistan’s closest Middle Eastern ally, Saudi Arabia, is also openly moving towards a relationship with the Jewish state.
The common denominator in all of these relations is that they have been forged on the basis of their respective national interest. If Saudi Arabia has altered its position because of its own national security concerns, what is stopping Pakistan from doing the same?
Dr. Kamran Bokhari is a Washington-based national security and foreign policy specialist with the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute.
Dr. Tamir Libel is a Germany-based Israeli scholar on security studies and until recently a research fellow at the Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI).