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?

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