Saturday, January 16, 2021

As India Romances Iran; Why is Israel Attempting To Entice Pakistan?

India-Iran economic relations are no secret, but is Israel trying to build secret ties with Pakistan? With Pakistan having no formal relations with Israel, a sophisticated, state-of-the-art, Israeli business jet touching down at Noor Khan, a military airbase in Pakistan has turned heads. EurAsian Times analyses the India-Israel-Pakistan-Iran diplomatic bromance.

Speculations are abound, as are conspiracy theories, about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being on board the jet and Pakistan’s secret dialogues with the Jewish state. Another hearsay was Israel trying to get Pakistan’s support to maintain a geopolitical balance. And one cannot overlook the changing equations of the nations – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman and Bahrain, in the Muslim World.

But, as EurAsian Times reported, Pakistan’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry put a sharp end to the rumours telling the media that “Pakistan government would not hold secret dialogues with Israel.”

Israel Warming Up to Islamic Countries

However, Israel doesn’t need the support of Pakistan. It is working rightly on its own, developing cordial relations with other Islamic countries. Recently, Israel’s Cultural Minister was welcomed via a grand reception in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, the Israeli national anthem was played live when the Israeli judo team won the first prize; playing of Israeli national anthem was a first for UAE.

In August, the Israel navy participated in the Rim of the Pacific exercise (the world’s largest maritime exercise) 2018 alongside Islamic countries – Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei; these countries have no diplomatic relations with Israel.

Pakistan – Israel Relations

Meanwhile, Pakistan maintains having ‘no-ties’ with Israel. As EurAsian Times reported earlier, Pakistani President Arif Alvi on October 28 said it supports the Palestinians because the Gaza Strip has also faced ‘unprecedented atrocities’. He rubbished speculations about the landing of the Israeli jet as baseless. But Israeli journalist, Avi Scharf’s tweet about the Israeli jet flying to Islamabad and remaining there for nearly 10 hours fueled the endless rumours.

It is believed that the mysterious jet may have been part of Pakistan’s USD6 billion bailout by Saudi Arabia, while others are of the opinion that the Israelis are trying to sell Pakistan, military hardware. Besides, this could be it because of the powerful active Jewish lobby in the US. It is most likely that Israeli arms would be marketed to Pakistan. But Pakistan’s officials have also brushed off these claims.

Back in 2005, former Pakistani Prime Minister Pervez Musharraf had tried to advocate a good relationship with Israel. In 2007, he volunteered to mediate the Arab – Israel conflict, projecting a pacifist image and making the Pakistanis in general, uncomfortable. Musharraf had even addressed the American Jewish Congress in New York to create a favourable public opinion about Israel.

More speculations are arising as the present Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan’s ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith is a Jew. And then there is the Hindu-Zionist conspiracy theory. This cannot be pushed aside because of Israel and India’s praiseworthy eco-political syncretism and the tech-relationship as well, which Pakistan is most likely to imitate in the near future.

The Pakistani media has also been trying to create a public opinion, leaning towards India – Israel’s strengthening bilateral affairs. Another reality that cannot be denied is that so far, in regards to Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, Israel has remained tight-lipped, no doubt a strategy to befriend Saudi Arabia. Israel is now taking sides to keep Iran in isolation like the rest of the world.

But back to Pakistan, it is most probable that Israel and Pakistan will develop secret relations and Tel-Aviv will at no cost try to annoy New Delhi, her biggest arms importer.

By: Nandika Chand

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