Diplomacy with Israel

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Since its independence, Pakistan has inherited some particular political stances. These stances are something which has become synonymous with being a Pakistani. Firstly that Kashmir is and always has been a part of Pakistan, and since the country’s independence from British rule in 1947, Kashmir has been wrongly occupied by India. The second stance is refusing to recognize Israel as a state and fully supporting the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination. Now whether these stances are actually back with economic or military assistance is a debate for another time. What is well known is Pakistan has kept both these stances for the past several decades.

News has been breaking about whether the second stance on Israel might change soon. In Charsadda Imran Khan addressed his supporters and accused the current “imported” government of being ‘tasked with recognizing Israel’ and compromising with India on the Kashmir issue. This news comes right after Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke about meeting a delegation of Pakistani ex-pats living in the US. These accusations were quickly denied by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal in a series of tweets. He stated that PTI is being used as a tool to cause chaos in Pakistan after their “failed protest” last week.

He outright refused the existence of any official or semi-official Pakistani delegation meeting any diplomat from Israel and that the official government still does not recognize Israel as a state and that his thoughts and prayer are with the Palestinians.

This news is especially troubling to Pakistani Muslims and other Muslims all over the world as the UAE had recently signed a deal for open trade with Israel on May 31st. For the common people, this was seen as a complete betrayal of the Muslim world. For others, it was seen as a necessary economic and diplomatic move. The UAE to Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja, said the agreement was an “unprecedented achievement”. He further expanded how this deal will lead to great economic growth through job creation and promoting further cooperation.

All of Imran Khan’s opposition has stuck to the story of this news being “fake news” They continue to label him as a fear monger and liar. The idea of meeting with Isreal is considered a fake narrative to draw further support from the Pakistani people. This stance would hold ground if not days after the news of a Pakistani-US delegation, a Pakistan Television (PTV) anchorperson had been fired. This person was part of the delegation that met with the Israeli president. With so many conspiracies and lies floating in Pakistani media no one is sure of what’s fact or fiction. Whatever the case may be this is going to be a very interesting summer.

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Musa Qaiser
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