Analyst: Pakistan could normalise ties with Israel

A British-Pakistani analyst said he expects Pakistan to follow Gulf Arab countries and normalise ties with Israel, Israel Hayom reported on Monday.

Noor Dahri, founder and executive director of Islamic Theology of Counter-Terrorism, a UK-based think tank, told Israel Hayom that many other Arab countries might follow in the footsteps of the UAE and Bahrain who have announced the normalisation of ties with the occupation state.

“The peace agreements of the UAE and Bahrain with Israel are just a door [for them] for opening further diplomatic, trade and strategic relations with Israel,” he said.

“There are many countries that are awaiting their term to join the agreement, such as Oman, Sudan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia.”

At the same time, he pointed to the good Qatari relations with Israel, noting it might be an incentive to establish official relations in the future. Doha has mediated talks between Palestinian factions in the besieged Gaza Strip and Israel and provides aid to Palestinians with approval from the occupation state.

“We must not forget that despite the tough political tension between Qatar and other members of the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council], Israel has already maintained good mutual relations with Qatar and there is no doubt that Qatar may join the peace agreement with Israel sooner or later,” he said.

“Pakistan has also not closed the door completely, but its national interests do not permit it to announce open relations with the Jewish state.”

He said that “both states have had intelligence and military relations for decades,” claiming that “Pakistan has never considered the Jewish state as its enemy but may establish conditional relations with it in the future, after the Arab agreements.”

Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan insisted that if all the world normalised ties with Israel, Pakistan would never do so.

“We cannot make a decision which runs counter to the aspirations of the oppressed Palestinian nation,” he said. “We will continue to support the fair resolution of the Palestinian issue.”

“If the whole world wants to recognise Israel, Islamabad would not do so and would never make a decision contrary to the wishes of the Palestinian people,” Khan told Urdu-language 92 News television news network yesterday.

He concluded: “Until a just solution to the Palestinian issue is produced, any recognition of the Zionist regime is ruled out. How can we accept to normalise with the Zionists when the main Palestinian parties do not accept it?”