Pakistani journalists and commentators have begun a discussion on the possibility of any normalisation of ties between Pakistan and Israel on Monday, sparking a spirited discussion on social media.
This development comes after US media reported that Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu flew to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Sunday to meet the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and the Secretary of State of the United States Mike Pompeo. With United States’ assistance, Israel made significant progress in normalising ties with its Arab neighbours, in September UAE and Bahrain recognised Israel as a state.
On Monday Kamran Khan – senior journalist and a prominent TV anchor – tweeted “Pakistan must also revisit it’s Israel policy. Message for we Pakistanis from the Custodians of the Holy Mosques and other brothers in the Arab world. “Nations don’t have permanent friends or enemies, only interests” Why is Pakistan shy of exercising its options?”
Another prominent TV anchor and senior journalist, Mubashir Lucman, appeared on a talk show on i24News – an Israeli international 24-hour news television channel located in Tel Aviv, Israel – to discuss the possibility of a normalisation as well. He said “I think if Israel and Pakistan ever, ever have to shake hands, it cannot be due to a third party. So when the time comes, if the time comes, we can do it directly.”
Pakistan, which steadfastly supports the right of Palestinians to their own homeland has refused to recognise Israel, and continues to eschew direct diplomatic relations with the middle-eastern state.
Earlier this year Prime Minster Imran Khan said in an interview to a local TV channel earlier this year that “our stand about Israel is very clear. It is the same that the founder of nation, Quaid-I-Azam had. We cannot recognize Israel until Palestinians get their right, which should be in line with the two-state solution.”
Both journalist have taken a bold stance by supporting an eventual normalisation with Israel, as popular opinion in Pakistan stands opposed to any normalisation without a solution of the Palestine issue.