Pirzada Hasaan Hashmi opens his blog ‘Why Pakistan needs Israel’ published in Express Tribune on June 2, with the following quotation “We are so wrapped up in what is good for everyone else, that we are losing sight of what is good for us as a nation. In reply, I may quote a declaration by Israeli leaders sometime back, describing Pakistan as an even bigger threat than Iran, obviously because of possession of nuclear arms by Pakistan, and a sympathy for the Palestinians and Muslims cause in the country.

He then goes on to say, in the context of Muslim countries in Asia “This abomination is based on feelings of Islamic solidarity with Arab countries and a sense of religious belonging to the global Islamic community.” What Hasaan says is true but it is only a small part of the whole truth. In a BBC survey about popularity of various countries, in which 24,000 people from around the globe participated, Israel was placed third from the bottom. The survey also indicated that nearly all countries showed an increasing hostility towards Israel, except the United States which, illogical as it may sound, is virtually a satellite of Israel. This is proved by the ease with which Israel scuttled the roadmap for peace in the Middle East and Annapolis conference launched with great fanfare by the US, with the participation of international community. The situation remains much the same with Barack Obama who initially committed the indiscretion of calling on Israel to freeze the illegal settlement-building activity, saying “freeze means freeze” but soon realised his true position and amended his command to something like “demand for settlement-freeze is not a suitable premise to build peace process on” and then proceeded to increase the aid to Israel. This is of course the same mouse which, with others in the pack, roar at us like lions, and is constantly cutting, withholding and suspending its paltry aid to us.

In support of his case for having good ties with Israel, the writer states “ Israel can help us win unfailing support from many developed countries – Israel has the strongest lobbying powers in the world. If Israel and Pakistan are on good terms, we can use this lobbying to foster healthy relationships with other countries, because other then Saudi Arabia, no major Arab country supports Pakistan”

He quotes certain additional benefits of having good relations with Israel, but these are more theoretical than practical and for which Pakistan has other alternatives. May I also respectfully point out that Turkey had very close relations and high level of cooperation with Israel but that did not deter Israel from murdering in cold blood nine Turks on the peace flotilla to blockaded Gaza and Israel even refuses to apologise over it, which soured the relations between the two. Also, even with its supposed influence with the international community, Israel could not help Turkey get into the European Union, even when it was on the best of terms with it. With an attitude like that, how can one expect that Israel will prove helpful to Pakistan, despite its nuclear arsenal which, in Israel’s view, will remain a threat to Israel, especially in circumstances when Pakistani policies change with every change of government. With a doctrine of ‘never again,’ friendly or otherwise, Israel will remain a threat to our nuclear arsenal which provides us the only deterrent against much bigger India. Also, with Israel’s sponsor United States all set to give India a bigger role in the region, it would definitely be more beneficial for Israel to remain firmly tied to a much bigger India. Additionally, with both Israel and United States considering nuclear Pakistan a threat, they are sure to try dismembering and defanging nuclear Pakistan, of which intention we have clear warning. Such a move will of course be aided, abetted and greatly appreciated by India. With things being what they are, it would be suicidal for Pakistan to develop diplomatic relations with Israel.

S.R.H. HASHMI,

Karachi, June 7.