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Pakistan denies Israel recognition

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    Istanbul meeting a `gesture to Israel: Talks do not imply recognition: Riaz ... By Qudssia Akhlaque ISLAMABAD, Sept 1: Pakistan on Thursday described the
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2005
      Istanbul meeting a `gesture' to Israel:
      Talks do not imply recognition: Riaz
      By Qudssia Akhlaque
      ISLAMABAD, Sept 1: Pakistan on Thursday described the Istanbul
      meeting between Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri and his
      Israeli counterpart Silvan Shalom as a `gesture' aimed at helping the
      Middle East peace process.

      Announcing the major diplomatic development at a news conference here
      on Thursday, Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan said: "This
      contact, the first at this level, is essentially a gesture to Israel
      to underscore the importance that we attach to the end of Israeli
      occupation of Gaza and to the Middle East peace



      Aziz denies policy shift on Israel recognition: Heated debate in NA
      By Raja Asghar
      ISLAMABAD, Sept 2: Rejecting opposition's charges of a policy U-turn,
      Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Friday that Pakistan would not
      recognize Israel before an independent Palestinian state was
      established and that Thursday's meeting between Pakistani and Israeli
      foreign ministers was only a step to engage with the Jewish state in
      the interest of Middle East peace.

      He assured the National Assembly at the end of a short debate sought
      by the opposition through adjournment motions on the issue that the
      government had made no policy change about not recognizing Israel and
      it would take parliament into confidence when "time comes for


      Musharraf's `chance meeting' with Sharon likely
      Dawn Report
      WASHINGTON / NEW YORK, Sept 2: President Pervez Musharraf may have
      a "chance meeting" with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in New
      York later this month, Ambassador Gen (retd) Jehangir Karamat told
      Dawn on Friday.

      "All heads of states and governments will be there and if they meet,
      there's no harm," said the ambassador who is a former army



      Expected Recognition of Israel Part of Agenda Given to Musharraf
      By Wajid Shamsul Hasan
      South Asia Tribune (WASHINGTON DC)
      Sept 5, 2005


      Pakistanis read about the Foreign Ministers meeting

      Wajid Shamsul Hasan

      LONDON, September 5: The rapid moves that Islamabad has been making
      indicate that Pakistan would soon become the 5th Muslim country to
      recognize Israel, the other four being Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and
      Mauritania while Morocco and Qatar only have limited trade ties. And
      the credit for it would not go to any elected civilian leader but to
      an absolute military dictator.

      Since almost four years I have been writing that the recognition of
      Israel was part of the multifaceted agenda assigned to General Pervez
      Musharraf by powers that be in exchange for support to him for
      perpetuating his authoritarian rule against the democratic aspirations
      of the Pakistani people.

      Pakistan held first ever formal and public contacts with Israel in
      Istanbul on September 1 at its own request brokered by Turkey.
      Officially described as a historic breakthrough, Islamabad has claimed
      that it had the backing of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and President
      Mahmood Abbas of the Palestinian State Authority. While Saudis have
      not yet come out publicly whether Pakistan's initiative had their
      support, a spokesman of the PLA, however, has nailed Islamabad's claim
      that the move had the blessing of President Mahmood Abbas.

      The Palestinian Authority said on Thursday that it was "worried" about
      Pakistan's making high-level diplomatic contact with Israel despite
      its occupation of east Jerusalem and the West Bank. "It is not good to
      give Israel gifts before it really implements the peace process, not
      only in Gaza, but in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem," deputy prime
      minister Nabil Shaath told the press. "We are worried about this
      because it's not a good time to start relations with Israel."

      The West Bank leader of Islamist fundamentalist movement Hamas
      denounced the meeting and urged Islamic and Arab states not to fall
      into the trap of seeing the Gaza pullout as synonymous with the end of
      occupation as naively or advertently understood by Pakistani leader
      General Musharraf and his Foreign Minister Mian Khurshid Mahmood

      "We condemn any relationship between an Islamic state and the Israelis
      and we ask Pakistan to go back on this agreement, especially as the
      Palestinian people have not yet been given their rights," said Hamas
      spokesman Hassan Yussef.

      In order to defuse hostile domestic and foreign reaction as that of
      PLA, Musharraf has lost no time in stating that Islamabad would not
      recognize Israel until a Palestinian state was established while
      Israeli Prime Minister Sharon is insisting that he sees no final
      status talks with the Palestinians in the foreseeable future

      According to diplomatic sources General Pervez Musharraf has been
      under too much pressure from his pro-Zionist Western mentors to
      recognize Israel. The Gaza pullout gave them the stick to browbeat the
      General into taking initiatives that would soon foreclose recognition.
      He had also been conveyed that a positive gesture could mean further
      extension in the fast expiring insurance cover to his absolute hold on
      power that seemed to be becoming more of an embarrassment to
      Washington currently marketing democracy as a global phenomenon.

      In this context Assistant of Secretary of State Christina Rocca had
      not minced her words during her last visit to Islamabad where she made
      it categorically known in the shadow of countrywide allegations of
      massive pre-poll rigging in the local bodies elections, that the
      United States would like to see 2007 general elections to be
      completely transparent with even playing field for all the political
      parties and leaders.

      In the footsteps of pro-democratic rumblings came the news that
      Musharraf has accepted the invitation to address the powerful American
      Jewish Congress following the visit of its key members to Islamabad as
      his value-added guests. Sources in Islamabad had hinted that things
      would start moving towards a thaw with Israel after Musharraf's
      September visit to the United States. They had failed to gauge the
      urgency propelling Islamabad.

      In desperation Turkish intervention was sought, a meeting was brokered
      in Istanbul where Pakistan's Foreign Minister Kasuri had rushed to
      reveal that his country had decided to "engage" to hold talks with
      Israel after years as one of its harshest critics because of what it
      saw as the beginning of the end of Israel's occupation of the
      Palestinian territories.

      While PLA is extremely "worried" over a move described by it as
      premature, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, said Israel hoped
      to use the Pakistan talks as a springboard for broader diplomatic ties
      with Muslim and Arab countries that have long spurned it. Shalom
      believes that his meeting would "finally lead to a full diplomatic
      relationship with Pakistan as we would like to see with all Arab
      countries." "We made a huge breakthrough today...," Shalom said. "We
      think it will be a very positive signal to Israeli and Palestinian
      public opinion that there are some fruits from this withdrawal from

      In a wider move to rope in other Islamic states to recognizing Israel,
      Jordan's King Abdullah is also expected to visit Israel as early as
      next week to lend his support for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's
      dismantling of Gaza settlements.

      Israel's recognition is thus around the corner, not far away, a matter
      of months and not years. Not that, such a recognition would help
      Islamabad much though it would definitely help Musharraf's personally
      as the man who can deliver. When in Washington later this month, he
      would have a very depressive tale to tell to his bosses how much he
      had personally to suffer for fulfilling Israeli part of the agenda
      assigned to him.

      When one looks at the speed behind his moves, it seems that Musharraf
      is half way through his agenda. He has already made solution of
      Kashmir issue easier by surrendering to India Pakistan's traditional
      stand on the UN resolution for plebiscite in Kashmir, not many years
      ago for the civilian leaders it was something non-negotiable and

      Besides Kashmir, he has delivered a great deal on Pakistan's nuclear
      program. One of the most important issues assigned to him in the
      agenda was the decision to roll back Pakistan's nuclear program. With
      Dr. AQ Khan sitting on top of it, it would have been impossible for
      him to dislodge even its single brick. Now Dr Khan has been taken care
      of, rendered into a vegetable by design.

      From the day he was relieved from KRL in 2001 Pakistan has been on the
      downward slide and Musharraf Administration has done it very shabbily
      to self-branding Pakistan as being a rogue nuclear state. His recent
      diatribe against Dr Khan directly involving him in the North Korean
      deals shows a method in the madness, making a scapegoat of Dr Khan
      while himself having the cake of his spoils and eating it too.

      Instead of defending a program that has practically immunized the
      anorchous Pakistani generals from the Indian Army, Musharraf and his
      men sacrificed the man who gave them this virtual "Viagra". Our
      Generals are only capable of using their guns on unarmed civilians
      seeking their democratic and fundamental rights and have no shame in
      surrendering vital strategic locations such as Siachen to India
      without firing a shot.

      Throughout the Cold War Washington's agenda was multifaceted with the
      sole objective of combating and minimizing the increasing influence of
      Soviet Union. In the process, on the one hand, Islamists were backed,
      picked up, pumped to counter Soviet influence in Middle East and on
      the other, Israel was nurtured, nourished and nuclearized to play the
      role of a bastion state to protect Western interests.

      Pakistan under a military ruler, General Ayub Khan, was roped into
      CENTO (earlier known as Baghdad Pact) and SEATO to be part of
      Washington's strategy to counter China. Although Washington always had
      a soft corner for India but it lacked trust in it due to Sino-Indian
      friendship until 1962. It also realized that Pakistan under one-man
      rule would be more pliable and useful for its geo-strategic interests
      in the region as against a democratic India.

      This was also the period when Pakistan continued to follow the Arab
      line on Israel. It tagged its stand on Tel Aviv's recognition to the
      policy of non-recognition by Saudi Arabia and other OIC members
      although it had no common borders with Israel, no clash of economic or
      strategic interests. Rather, both Israel and Pakistan shared a common
      raison d' etre, their religions as founding pillars of their states.
      Obviously Israel was left with no option but to befriend India and
      support it against Pakistan.

      With the end of Cold War, Washington's Israel and Indian policies
      acquired a new thrust. Pakistan under a civilian and democratically
      elected Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was well oriented to rationalize
      its foreign policy objectives and pursue its goals to acquire greater
      respect in the comity of nations. While Bhutto stood by her
      independence, Pakistan's much too interfering military establishment
      went the other way. Though she refused to accept its dictations, it
      pursued its own agenda, both overtly and covertly, on Kashmir,
      relations with India, Israel and Afghanistan with Taliban in power was
      its sole domain beyond the reach of Pakistan's Foreign Office. She did
      not realize that those very Quislings who had been responsible for
      making a horrible example of her father would make her homeless.

      Who could best serve the foreign interests? Not civilian leaders, was
      the answer. The Kargil invasion in 1999, a brainchild of Musharraf,
      seemingly brought the truth home to Washington once again: In
      Pakistan, it is the Army Chief that calls the shots.

      Clinton Administration tried to save Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by
      issuing a warning as late as September 1999 that it would not approve
      of a military coup in Pakistan. However, American generals and CIA who
      had developed very close liaison and understanding with their
      Pakistani counterparts since their deep throated collaboration from
      the days of the Afghan Jihad, saw in the General the person who could
      deliver for them on Kashmir, nuclear roll-back, Bush's crusade against
      the Jihadi terrorists and recognition of Israel.

      And the horrendous tragedy of 9/11 led to the most profitable change
      in his fortune. A pariah military dictator with whom no leader of the
      civilized world, would shake hands became President Bush's blue-eyed
      boy and his Knight Templar in his crusade against terrorism. Just one
      line American ultimatum to him that "either you are with us or with
      them" brought about from him the most astounding U-turns in military

      Now we come to the remaining part of Musharraf agenda which relates to
      recognizing Israel. Musharraf believes that once he recognizes Israel,
      he will buy a perpetual life-cover for his presidency from Washington.
      His "incidental" meeting with former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon
      Peres early in the year that led to "brief talks" between the two had
      set the ball rolling towards the direction of recognition. Answering a
      question Musharraf on his meeting made matters further clear. "We are
      undertaking great efforts for this to happen."

      Musharraf, it may be recalled, had first launched his recognize
      Israel' operation in June 2003 when he had said: "Recognizing Israel
      will not bring down the skies, if the Arabs are recognizing it, we
      also ought to reconsider our policies towards Israel." Looking for an
      opportune moment Musharraf again floated the idea in October 2003 when
      he said: "We have been in support of the Palestinian cause. If the
      peace process moves forward in justice, we can revise our policy with

      Much like Musharraf's "incidental" meeting with Shimon Peres, former
      Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto too had a chance meeting with him at an
      international forum in Europe where the two shared the podium with
      other top leaders including Gorbachev. Like his invitation to
      Musharraf, Peres also invited Benazir Bhutto to visit Israel. While
      Musharraf seems to have dropped the long-standing position of
      Pakistan's support for the Palestinians, Ms Bhutto's response was more
      appropriate. She told Peres that she will consult Yasser Arafat (until
      then alive) before she says anything on the issue of Israel's
      recognition or accepts invitation to visit Tel Aviv.

      The difference between Bhutto's stand and Musharraf's has been
      obvious. While she would not have liked to cause "worry" to the people
      of Palestine, Musharraf has gone more than an extra mile towards
      recognizing Israel since it would get him closer to Washington, a step
      if taken by any civilian leader in Pakistan, would have made Pakistani
      military establishment to hang him/her by the gallows.

      In conclusion, I share the view expressed by PPP spokesman Senator
      Farhatullah Babar on the meeting of the two foreign ministers in
      Istanbul that interfaith dialogue is the need of the time. However, no
      unilateral decisions should be taken on issues that will have an
      impact both domestically and in the Muslim world.

      Had the regime taken its langri-looli (handicapped, lame) Parliament
      into confidence, its decision would have become more credible. On
      important foreign policy issues, solo flight and individual decisions
      need to be avoided. Indeed, it is ironic that a regime that criticized
      former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto for meeting with a former Israeli
      Prime Minister at a Socialist International Conference has now sought
      the good offices of Turkey to facilitate the meeting with the Foreign
      Minister of Israel. An apology to Ms Bhutto would surely be in order.

      The writer is a former Pakistan High Commissioner to UK



      First official talks held with Israel:
      Stand on Palestine unchanged: Kasuri
      ISTANBUL, Sept 1: Israel and Pakistan held their first-ever high-
      level talks here on Thursday in a bid to normalize ties.

      Buoyed by Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip and its desire to
      better its ties with Arab and Muslim states in general, Isreali
      Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid
      Kasuri met in Istanbul for what they called `historic'


      Saudi king, Abbas supported meeting: Musharraf
      By Saleem Shahid
      QUETTA, Sept 1: Defending his government's initiative of holding
      talks with Israel at the level of foreign ministers, President
      General Pervaiz Musharraf said here on Thursday that Thursday's
      meeting in Istanbul had the support of Palestinian President Mohammad
      Abbas and Saudi King Abdullh bin Abdulaziz. He said that in his
      opinion, significant progress was under way in efforts to resolve the
      Palestinian issue, adding that Pakistan would have to play a role in
      promoting an early settlement of this longstanding conflict that was
      the root-cause of terrorism in the Middle East and affected the
      entire world......................




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