Recognition of Israel, Another test for Pakistan’s foreign policy

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Barkat Ullah
Despite the second wave of corona pandemic, recognition of Israel is one of the hot topics in the politics of Pakistan nowadays. The news became more vibrant after the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan revealed in an interview that Pakistan is passing through a tremendous pressure for recognition of Israel from a friend state. Earlier according to a press release, the Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with US secretory for foreign affairs Mic Pompeo, conducted a meeting with KSA Muhammad bin Salman few days ago. These all developments occurred in a time when several prominent Muslims states like United Arab Emirate agreed on a deal with Israel and acknowledged it as a state. Currently in Pakistan level of thinking is divided into two categories regarding the issue, one thinks that under the nation state system and in the greater interest of the country, Pakistan should recognize each and every state while others believe that Pakistan should stick to her strong stance and should never go to any act regarding recognition of Israel. Nevertheless, Pakistan is among one of those few states that has a strong and clear stance against Israel and always demands for right of self-determination for Palestine. A school of thought in Pakistan argues that Pakistan should make ties with Israel because to get an influential say in its favor against India. Moreover, they think that by recognizing Israel Pakistan can achieve more effective support in USA as Israeli lobbying is greatly influencing white house and Pentagon over the decades. But the question is, will Israel abandon India over Pakistan recognition of it? The answer is No, absolutely not, Israel along with US and India has spent billions of dollars and conducted a number of significant Geo strategic facts and military agreements in Asia for last four five decades. How Israel will step back from its nexus with India and United States in the region for Pakistan. So, the argument that by recognizing Israel, Pakistan can get maximum Israeli support against India’s anti Pakistan ambitions is an illogical and weak one, and it is not going to happen by any mean. Moreover, Pakistan has always compared both issues, Palestine with that of Kashmir. From the very first day, it has asked the United nations to give right of self-determination to the people of the both disputed lands. So, Pakistan will not weaken its position over Kashmir by recognizing Israel as it has always raised its voice for both in the same way. Pakistan wants a just settlement for both territories, so recognition of Israel will be a back shift in Pakistan’s just settlement approach for not only Palestinians but for Kashmir as well. Along with the above arguments, one of the most important points is that recognition, according to international law is a retrospective effect. Another words, when a state is recognized by other states, it means that the latter is supposed to have recognized all the acts of the former from the date of its establishment. For instance, although Bangladesh got recognition from Pakistan two years after it came into being, yet Pakistan recognized all the acts of Bangladesh from the date of its creation. This means that if Pakistan recognizes Israel it will mean that Pakistan acknowledges it’s all illegal actions of occupying Palestinian territory forcefully, which will again weaken Pakistan’s claims of right of self-determination for Kashmir to a great extent. Moreover, every state shapes its foreign policy according to some specific priorities, interests and principles. Like others Pakistan has also some geo strategic and economic ambitions, for which it engages regional and international stakeholders, but it has also got some vital basic principles for shaping its foreign policy. For instance, it is one of the significant preambles of Pakistan foreign policy to support those suppress nations that are under suppression in one or another way. In this regard, foreign policy of Pakistan has supported the self-determination rights of Kashmiris and Palestine from the very first day, and it aims for a just settlement over these territories. Therefore, Pakistan as a state will never go against its own principles to recognize Israel.

(-The writer is doing his Master in international relations and has a wide experience of writing for various national and international newspapers. )