In his first interview with an Israeli newspaper on January 7, 2012, former president Pervez Musharraf favoured recognising Israel and stated that Pakistan, like Israel, was an ideological state, adding the foundation of the creation of both the countries were the very same.
Religiously, historically and politically, his stance is factual as both states are established based on their ideological declarations; the ‘Two-Nation Theory’ in case of Pakistan and the ‘Homeland for the Jewish people’ in case of Israel.
Initially, Pakistan and Israel had no direct conflicts with each other. So in an attempt to establish diplomatic relationship with Pakistan, Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion sent a telegram to Governor General Muhammad Ali Jinnah to recognise Israel. But Jinnah was hesitant and gave no particular response only because of Arabs and Palestinians.
Later, according to Dr Moshe Yegar, a former official of Israeli Foreign Service, the Jewish state became hostile towards Pakistan when its diplomatic mission in Washington received information that Pakistan tried to provide military assistance to the Arabs during Arab-Israel War of 1947–1949; was flexing its wings to send a battalion to Palestine to fight alongside them against Israel; bought 250,000 rifles in Czechoslovakia for the Arabs to be used against Israel and bought three planes in Italy for the Egyptians. Moreover, it seemed the then Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Zafarullah Khan, apparently working on some agenda, deliberately played a role to pitch Pakistan against Israel.
Following 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israel wars, during which the PAF pilots, flying Jordanian and Syrian planes, downed some Israeli planes, and attest of about 53 Pakistanis, serving in the PLO, during 1982 battle for Beirut between Israel and the PLO, besides Pak-PLO agreement for training PLO officers in Pakistani military institutions added fire to the fuel.
In addition to this, Pakistan’s religious political parties and militant groups kept on fiercely opposing any relationship with Israel and repeatedly called Israel as the enemy of Islam and Pakistan.
Owing to our conflicts with Israel, there remained an unnecessary opposition by Israel to Pakistan in all international forums, which inflicted severe losses to Pakistan. Furthermore, Israel has always been pro-India against Pakistan, supporting India on important issues such as the Kashmir dispute because of this hostility.
Although Israel and Pakistan do not officially have relations with each other, but in the past, there have been many examples of cooperation between the two countries, such as CIA-MI5-Mossad-ISI alliance to run a covert Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan in the 1980s, ISI’s liaison with Mossad in 1993, a secret meeting of Prime Minister in New York with a senior Israeli emissary in Washington DC in 1995, PM Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s assurance to Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu that Pakistan will not transfer her nuclear technology to Iran in 1998, ISI intelligence sharing about the Gulf States and the nuclear ambitions of Iran and Libya with Israel in 2001, and finally, in 2010, according to an unconfirmed American diplomatic cables, ISI DG Lt Gen Ahmad Shujah Pasha provided intelligence on potential terrorist attacks in India to Israel through Washington. Moreover, there have been a multiple media reports that in the past many powerful Pakistani and Israeli personalities and figures have visited each others countries.
Pakistan should not be against Jews but it should only have a set of reservations over the way Israel was created. Israel can help Pakistan on various economic, trade and technical avenues and in return, Pakistan can support Israel in bridging up the gap between Israel and Arab states.
Now the time has come to forget the differences of the past, give up stubbornness and intolerance and establish diplomatic ties with each other in larger interests of the people and for the sake of global peace.