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SOURCE: SUNDAY GUARDIAN LIVE

Pakistan and its Washington based allied groups are pushing the agenda to team-Joe Biden that it was going to recognise Israel in lieu of a favourable treatment by the new Biden regime, which ostensibly translates into an “anti-India” stance.

A handful of individuals from team-Biden, who are pro-Pakistan, as per Washington based observers, are dangling this carrot offered by Pakistan in front of Joe Biden and trying to convince him that treating Pakistan favourably was a small price that he should happily pay for this “big” achievement of Pakistan recognising Israel, which if it happens, will add an illustrious feather to his Presidency.

This same bait is being used by pro-Pakistan pressure groups to push for installing their choice of men and women at the US Department of Defense and Department of State, the two main arms of the US executive, which will determine how Pakistan is dealt with by the United States in the coming four years. The pro-Pakistan officials operating at Capitol Hill are known for arranging friendly visits of US diplomats to the Pakistani embassy at International Court, North West, Washington where the American diplomats invariably “bump” into Chinese individuals.

It is pertinent to mention that with Israel establishing diplomatic ties with UAE, Bahrain and Sudan earlier last month and Saudi Arabia likely to follow suit, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is looking to secretly “recalibrate” its options vis-à-vis Israel and use this development to turn into an opportunity to “milk” Biden.

However, with a large number of terror and radical groups operating from its soil, who enjoy a considerable social, political clout and the ability to carry out violent attacks within the country, it is virtually impossible for Pakistan to recognise Israel without igniting a state of unending anarchy in the country.

The officials at the MoFA have suggested to their political and military superiors that with major Arab powers, aided by encouragement from the United States moving towards normalising their ties with Israel, it was in the best interest of Pakistan to start thinking on how to improve their ties with Israel.

As per the assessment by the Pakistani MoFA even if Joe Biden assumes the presidency of the US, there will not be any change when it comes to the US’ intent to help Israel normalise its ties with Arab countries. The officials have told their superiors that many more Islamic countries are moving on the footsteps of Saudi Arabia.

In fact, according to Pakistani officials, not speaking out against the Israel’s attempt to normalise its diplomatic relations, will also help Pakistan in getting a word and gesture of appreciation from the US, which it desperately needs in these “difficult times” where the country is facing economic hardship, a belligerent Opposition and an “aggressive” India. According to some of the suggestions and actions—that have been forwarded by MoFA officials to the leadership of Pakistan and that have been accessed by The Sunday Guardian—include not raising the Palestine issue vociferously and regularly, especially on international forums, explore discrete ways of maintaining contacts with Israel and not criticising the effort being made by Israel to improve relations with Arab countries.

On 20 August, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had stated in an interview to a local news channel that Pakistan would not recognise Israel until a Palestinian state, which was acceptable to the Palestinians, was given.

The Pakistani officials, in their communication, emphasised that these moves should be done very quietly and gradually as they had the potential to “undermine” the Kashmir cause, impact Pakistan’s relations with Iran and create a negative public perception about the government in Pakistan if these developments became public.

Pakistan’s fear of being the last man standing in its quest to treat Israel as a “pariah” owes its existence to developments that have taken place in the last few months.

On 18 October, Bahrain and Israel agreed to establish peaceful diplomatic relations and cooperate in the fields of the economy, civil aviation, finance, communications and agriculture, Israel’s foreign ministry said in a statement. On 15 September, the Israel-United Arab Emirates normalisation agreement was signed by two countries, which led to the UAE becoming the first Persian Gulf country to establish ties with Israel. Under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, an announcement regarding the normalising of ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel is expected to be made soon. On 2 September, direct air travel between Israel and Saudi Arabia started. Similarly, on 23 October, Sudan and Israel signed an agreement to normalise relations between them.

All these four countries are among the 57 countries that comprise the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the UN.