https://arab.news/b38ga

Israel’s declaration of war on Gaza will have far-reaching implications for the Middle East and beyond. There is no sign of the war ending soon; in fact, there is a danger of it sweeping the entire region. South Asia may not be directly affected but the escalating war will have serious implications for the sub-continent.

While Pakistan is standing with the Palestinians, India has declared its support for Israel. For Islamabad particularly, rising tensions in the Middle East carry political as well as economic consequences with the elections approaching. Thousands of Pakistanis took to the streets in several parts of the country to protest Israel’s siege and fierce bombing on the Gaza Strip.

Islamabad has responded to the Israeli war with an unusually measured tone. Instead of blaming the conflict squarely on Israeli policy, Pakistan has so far taken a softer approach, and has simply expressed concerns over the escalating situation. The public outrage is likely to increase with the worsening plight of besieged Palestinians, thus increasing the pressure on the government to take a tougher position in support of Gaza.

Islamabad has responded to the Israeli war with an unusually measured tone.

- Zahid Hussain

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened the Israeli response will change the Middle East. Indeed, the ongoing war is already changing regional geopolitics. The war has already extended along Lebanese borders with Hezbollah getting involved in the conflict.

Last week’s assault led by Hamas may have come as a surprise to Israel and its Western allies but its roots lie in the long occupation of Palestinian land and the ongoing atrocities carried out by the Israeli forces. There has been a constant expansion of Israeli settlements, displacing the Palestinian population.

Gaza which has been termed the world’s ‘largest open-air prison” has borne the brunt of Israeli atrocities over the past five decades. Among the world’s most densely populated areas, Gaza is described by the UN secretary general as a “hell on earth”.

It has been in a constant state of blockade, making the territory a picture of humanitarian crises. Children have been major victims of the constant Israeli bombardment and blockade.

Israel’s latest aerial strikes have turned a large part of the territory into rubble. Now the hapless population of Gaza is bracing for a ground invasion by Israel after it ordered over a million residents of northern Gaza to evacuate as a ground invasion of the besieged territory by Tel Aviv is imminent.

But the grim truth is that Gaza’s bloodied and brutalized population has nowhere to go, as Israel has sealed the strip, while Egypt has closed its borders. As the UN has noted, the Israeli evacuation order is impossible to carry out, while the UN relief body has said Gaza is “on the brink of human catastrophe.”

All these miseries of a long-colonized people have not shaken the conscience of the West. It looks away from Israel’s apartheid policies. Israel’s use of brute military force. Not surprisingly, the US and other Western countries have backed Israel’s brutal actions.

Israel’s latest war has dealt a huge blow to US sponsored peace negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. There seems to be no possibility now for the resumption of peace negotiations in the current atmosphere of heightened tensions and the danger of the war turning into a wider regional conflict.

Unlike past US presidents, Biden has made no direct effort to foster peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. Keeping the Palestinians out of the process will not bring long-term peace to the Middle East.

Pakistan has historically supported the Palestinian struggle against Zionist occupation and their right to statehood. Pakistan frequently provides various forms of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority. The Pakistan Air Force sent a group of its fighter pilots to engage the Israelis in combat during the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, greatly bolstering the Palestinians who were suffering repeated defeats to the Israel Defense Forces.

Pakistan remains a staunch supporter of the proposal for the creation of an independent Palestinian state, and in line with its pro-Palestinian doctrine, does not recognize the state of Israel. Islamabad’s stated position is that it will recognize Israel’s sovereignty if the latter withdraws its forces from the Israeli-occupied territories and allows an independent Palestinian state to be established.

While in the present circumstances Pakistan can play a limited role in resolution of the current crisis, its moral and political support from the OIC platform is critical. It must take a clearer position on Israeli war against people of Gaza.

Zahid Hussain is an award-winning journalist and author. He is a former scholar at Woodrow Wilson Centre and a visiting fellow at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, and at the Stimson Center in DC. He is author of Frontline Pakistan: The struggle with Militant Islam and The Scorpion’s tail: The relentless rise of Islamic militants in Pakistan. Frontline Pakistan was the book of the year (2007) by the WSJ. His latest book ‘No-Win War’ was published this year. Twitter: @hidhussain

QOSHE - Pakistan needs to take a clearer position on Israeli aggression - Zahid Hussain
menu_open
Columnists Actual . Favourites . Archive
We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Pakistan needs to take a clearer position on Israeli aggression

84 32
16.10.2023

https://arab.news/b38ga

Israel’s declaration of war on Gaza will have far-reaching implications for the Middle East and beyond. There is no sign of the war ending soon; in fact, there is a danger of it sweeping the entire region. South Asia may not be directly affected but the escalating war will have serious implications for the sub-continent.

While Pakistan is standing with the Palestinians, India has declared its support for Israel. For Islamabad particularly, rising tensions in the Middle East carry political as well as economic consequences with the elections approaching. Thousands of Pakistanis took to the streets in several parts of the country to protest Israel’s siege and fierce bombing on the Gaza Strip.

Islamabad has responded to the Israeli war with an unusually measured tone. Instead of blaming the conflict squarely on Israeli policy, Pakistan has so far taken a softer approach, and has simply expressed concerns over the escalating situation. The public outrage is likely to increase with the worsening plight of besieged Palestinians, thus increasing the pressure on the government to take a tougher position in support of Gaza.

Islamabad has responded to the Israeli war with an unusually measured tone.

- Zahid Hussain

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened the........

© Arab News Pakistan


Get it on Google Play