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Pakistan Must Not Be Trapped Into the ‘Deal of the Century’

In this article, Waqas Mehmood Ali is discussing the hegemonic designs of the United States and Israel and why Pakistan must not recognise the state of Israel in the wake of the ‘Deal of the Century’

The world is rapidly moving towards being divided into two opposite camps. Nope, it isn’t the US and Russian camp – as yet. It is the ‘Oppressors’ and ‘Opposers’. The oppressors are relying on Militarism and Militaristic Status Quo. The Resistance is being established through consolidating and transfusing ideas of popular and political will. The arrogance of ‘oppressor’ can be witnessed through how it utilizes tools of militarism to uphold militaristic status quo. The militarism of oppressor is evident in how US Senator Marco Rubio tweeted gruesome pictures of ex-ruler of Libya, Muammar Qaddhafi, in which he was being lynched to death at the hands of a mob. This tweet was aimed at Nicholas Maduro of Venezuela in order to threaten that any possibility of resistance will be crushed.

Latin America, for the last few years, especially after 2014 attack on Gaza, has witnessed all pro-Palestinian governments (as forces of dissent) being shown the door. Be it Christina Kirchner of Argentina, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil or half a dozen others from times when Socialism was being advanced by Soviet Union and, also after the fall of USSR. This is how oppression works i.e. decapitate and destroy any possible source of opposition (read: dissent). The will of people is being trampled in order to sustain Militaristic Status Quo. Fast forward from 2014 to the end of 2017, Trump announces decision to shift US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (realised by May 2018). It was met by resistance by the global community and a UN resolution was passed to oppose any such move.

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The oppressor is bent on oppressing the ‘resistance’ i.e., the opposers to the ‘embassy shift’ plan. Latin America is one example. Middle East is no exception either. The KSA has taken the bait but it is still yet to be seen how sensibly Mohammad bin Salman handles the situation in order to avoid war as his focus is on trade and prosperity. Senior Advisor to President Trump Jared Kushner is set to visit several Muslim countries in the Middle East at the end of February. The visit is being termed special for its aim, purpose and objective to achieve the goals of ‘Deal of the century.’ At a time when KSA and Gulf nations have been ‘subjected to warfare’ in order to trap them to take the bait, the Iranian leadership has successfully avoided and clearly refused to be subjugated to an extent to take the bait. Subsequently, Iran has to an extent neutralised Trump’s attack on EU-Iran deals on Iranian nuclear policy despite mounting pressure as result of the steps that have led to isolation, encirclement and weakening of Iran, as part of a plan to install a more sectarian-minded government to seize power in Tehran.

Is there a way out? Will Iran also take the bait?

In Pakistan, there is fake and false news of deals between ‘powers that be’ (de facto) and three times elected ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The intermediary role which Nawaz Sharif played between Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Islamic Republic of Iran was also evident in how Pakistan mediated Turkey-Russia rapprochement, as well as helping Iraq to defeat ISIS; and, this wasn’t acceptable to certain quarters. Time explains everything as events reveal the reality. It has been decided that a side has to be chosen! India has taken the bait. This is why Pakistan has to consistently improve and increase its diplomatic efforts to avoid foreign policy failures.

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As ‘deal of the century’ is finalised, the region will witness more pressure on Iran; Pakistan and Turkey, also, cannot be ruled out. There are apprehensions from both sides, Iran and Pakistan, against each other. Despite the differences, the solutions are workable as it was depicted post Turkish-Russian rapprochement. Iran and Pakistan should clarify misunderstandings. Certain media reports state that top Pakistani and Indian officials have reduced confrontational rhetoric and have sensibly called for dialogue. This was, however, undermined when ex-dictator Musharraf said during a press conference that Pakistan should establish and advance relations with Israel in order to counter India. It seems that this statement is not only impression management to put up ‘liberal face saving’ act after Pulwama attack but a policy incorporated as part of endorsement of new agenda.

The main argument to recognise and advance relations with Israel is that Muslim countries in Middle East, whether neighbouring or located closely to Israel, have either already recognised Israel or have abandoned support for Intifada forces/PLO/Hamas. In this case, shouldn’t Pakistan also follow suit instead of improving and advancing relations with countries to which it is closely located i.e. India, Iran and Afghanistan?

As Israel is advancing its agenda to upgrade its militaristic status quo from regional to global status of ‘Israeli Military Dictatorship,’ the forces of militarism will utilise elements to work around or within the ambit of ‘bait.’ Foreign policy requires broad vision; not just money, power and authority. ‘Deal of the Century’ in Middle East cannot be replicated in local Pakistani ‘Domestic politics.’ The resistance is not against security apparatus’ constitutional role but to oppose war! There are evil elements which want war between India and Pakistan as well as KSA and Iran. No one should take bait of ‘Deal of the Century,’ just like Nawaz Sharif refused to take the bait! Only if Imran Khan and security apparatus would listen to understand, not listen to reply!

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Pakistan can only win if all internal forces can be accommodated. This was possible in recent past when all institutions and forces joined hands to utilise expertise to not to make ‘deal through the bait’ but to actually deal with the portents expected from the bait! Pakistan has to be united in its ranks. In order to win a war, Pakistan needs to have an Idea which unites people under the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. What is the idea?

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Waqas Mehmood Ali

The author contributes frequently to top national dailies.

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