Sharon finds ally in Musharraf as Pakistan inches closer to Israel

Pakistan’s military dictator, General Pervez Musharraf has confirmed his intention to confer legitimacy to Israel.

This was demonstrated by his foreign minister’s meeting with his Israeli counterpart in Istanbul on September 1, 2005. And to remove any doubt about his cherished mission to betray Palestine, Musharraf met with the American Jewish Congress in New York, shortly thereafter.

Haaretz, an Israeli daily, reported that Musharraf heaped praises upon Sharon, by describing him as a “great soldier”. After their meeting in New York, the two Generals were described by the western media as “courageous leaders”.

Indeed, according to M Shahid Alam,[1] much of Pakistan’s media is now swamped with writers staking putatively ‘nationalist’ positions on the question of recognizing Israel. He finds these writers’ narrow nationalist zeal in justifying ties with Israel to be ‘specious’.

On the contrary, Alam claims that Pakistani nationalism would be at odds with the traditional connections that bind the security and welfare of Islamic countries. When these connections are ignored in lieu of ‘sickly nationalisms’, it encourages and facilitates imperialist attempts by the United States and Israel, among others, to subjugate these countries, he warns.

General Musharraf is clearly not inclined to heed any of these warnings.

In fact his desire to legitimize Israel is not a sudden impulse but is deeply rooted since his military coup of 1999 brought him to power.

The difference being that his alliance with America’s ‘war on terror’ has embedded his dictatorship so firmly in the neo-cons’ camp, thus allowing him to be bold and shameless.

Two years ago while on a trip to Washington where he met with America’s current war-hawk George Bush at Camp David, Musharraf categorically declared his intent to recognize the Zionist entity. In a scathing report by Impact International, the General is reminded to revisit Pakistan’s historic commitment to Palestine.

It recalls that Pakistan’s support of Palestine was a principled one and predated Pakistan itself: “Support for the just causes of the Muslim world is organically related to its own national vocation”.

In response to Musharraf’s demand that ties with Israel be looked upon ‘seriously’ and not on ’emotional grounds’, Impact argues that Pakistan’s stand in support of Palestine was neither emotional nor ephemeral. It was based on sound principles in history, law and international legality.

Five decades ago Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan visited the United States and met with the captains of American trade and industry. Back then in 1950, these industrialists promised all possible military and economic assistance in case Pakistan recognized Israel. Unlike the present dictator, Liaquat Ali Khan in his gentle tone replied: “Gentleman! Our soul is not for sale.”

Musharraf has not only sold out; he surrendered Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty to the US by handing over its airspace and land bases to be used in a war against a friendly neighbour, Afghanistan, claims Alam.

By betraying Palestine he in fact is also betraying Pakistan’s own national vocation.


[1]. "Recognizing Israel: Or Selling Out"
by M. Shahid Alam