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Friday, September 02, 2005

Best of friends

The thought of Israel and Pakistan becoming friends seems a highly unlikely possibility. The foreign ministers of both countries met yesterday, however, and signalled a willingness to work closely together. Israel's withdrawal from Gaza has brought the change, according to both parties. Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri said that "Pakistan attaches great importance to Israel ending its occupation of Gaza. Pakistan has therefore decided to engage Israel." Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom called the meeting "historic" and said that after the Gaza withdrawal it is "the time for all of the Muslim and Arab countries to reconsider their relations with Israel."

Al-Jazeera recently reported Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf calling Ariel Sharon a "great soldier and courageous leader" after his decision to "disengage" from Gaza.

Israel has long wanted stronger diplomatic ties with the Muslim world in the (forlorn?) hope that these countries may legitimise their ongoing occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people.

Pakistan is run by a military dictator. Israel is a quasi-democracy with full rights for Jews, fewer rights for Israeli Arabs and occupation for Palestinians. Are the two countries therefore a perfect match?


Blogger Levi9909 said...

This reminds me of a comment I read in the Irish Post (a paper for the Irish in the UK) when the Queen met with the Pakistani leader. This guy said that he didn't know how things would go between the UK and Pakistan because one's got an anti-democratic parliament and an unelected head of state and Pakistan's not much better!

Friday, September 02, 2005 5:33:00 am  
Blogger Pan-Arabist said...

These news stories come as a great surprise to me. Apparently the two countries have struck the common chord of subjugation. I do hope that the Arab nations will ignore Shalom's ignorant call, otherwise, do not hope on justice.

Friday, September 02, 2005 7:54:00 am  
Blogger evan jones said...

given that Pakistan is a backer of Islamic fundamentalism and Israel (and its propagandists) is the most strident critic of Islamic fundamentalism, what are we to make of the liaison?
Is Islamic fundamentalism a diversion from the main game?

Friday, September 02, 2005 8:32:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

It seems to be an odd meeting, to be sure. Not sure how it may play out. They SEEM to be coming from vastly different places, but then, the US and Pakistan are clos today, and they're hardly similar. It's amazing what strategic partnerships can do for a country...

Friday, September 02, 2005 10:18:00 am  

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