A major TV network of Pakistan, SAMA, has strongly advocated for recognition of the Jewish entity, Israel, by the government of Imran Khan.
Anchor of a popular SAMA program Khara Sach (Naked Truth), Mubashir Luqman, Monday (Nov 19) called on the government of Pakistan to recognize Israel because Saudi Arabia is about to recognize and "we should do before them."
To support his demand, Mr. Luqman advocated three reasons:
Firstly, the state of Israel is a reality, it is not a dream whether we like it or not. We recognize it or not it is a fact.
Secondly, there are several Muslim countries which recognize Israel and we have diplomatic relations with those countries.
Thirdly, Pakistan is a nuclear power and with our friendship with Israel we can help Palestinians in gaining their rights.
To justify his demand for the recognition of Israel Mr. Luqman went to say:
"We don't have any direct dispute or conflict with Israel. Palestinians don't support us on Kashmir issue but they support India. The Arabs and Palestinians don't recognize what atrocities are going on in Kashmir."
Alluding that the Palestinian issue is not a Muslim issue, Mr. Luqman pointed out that at least 50% or 45% Palestinian population is of Christian faith while population of Kashmir is 100% Muslim.
Interestingly, many of Mr. Luqman's arguments are old talking points advocated by supporters of Israel's recognition by Pakistan.
Mr. Luqman's advocacy for Israel's, recognition came within weeks of categorical assertion by the President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi, that "Pakistan is not going to establish any ties with Israel." On October 28, President Alvi also said that Pakistan has supported Palestine because Gaza has also faced unprecedented atrocities like Kashmir.
President Alvi's statement came to refute Israeli reports that an Israeli plane has landed in Islamabad and flew back after several hours stay.
Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Shirin Mazari, used Twitter to rebuff the impression that an Israeli plane landed in Pakistan for a brief period under mysterious circumstances.
"Interesting how Israeli media, with a plane fake news, managed to divert Pakistani media's attention away from the important security issue of the Netanyahu's Oman visit, which has strategic implications for Pakistan if Israel gets a permanent foothold in Oman where US military already has a presence," she Tweeted.
Apparently, Pakistan is not ready to recognize Israel in solidarity with other Arab and Muslim states. Another reason for refraining from diplomatic relations with the Jewish state is the fear of a possible adverse response by the people and religious parties of Pakistan which command street power because of their madarsas and mosques.
The street power of religious parties was seen last month when Tehreek-e-Labbaik called demonstrations to protest against the Supreme Court's acquittal of Asia Bibi -- a Christian woman who was previously sentenced to death on blasphemy charges by lower courts. Three major towns, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi were paralyzed and extensive material and economic damagewas caused. The violent protest ended when the government reached an agreement with Tehreek-e-Labbaik which secured 2.2 million votes in 2018 elections.