Pakistan should consider establishing ties with Israel, said exiled former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf, who resigned in 2008 in disgrace, has said he plans to return to Pakistan this month, despite possible arrest, in order to participate in a parliamentary election due by 2013. Speaking in favor of relations with Israel could make Musharraf more unpopular, especially among militants who made several attempts on his life with bombings because of his support for the U.S. “war on terror” following the 9/11 attacks. Those same groups want the destruction of Israel.
“There is nothing to lose by trying to get on Israel’s good side,” Musharraf, a former army chief, told Ha’aretz in an interview. “Pakistan also needs to keep readjusting its diplomatic stand toward Israel based on the mere fact that it exists and is not going away.” “We have been anti-Israel in Pakistan because of Palestine….But I believe in realism and in assessing ground realities.” Pakistan and Israel have maintained covert contacts for decades, officials have said.
(Qasim Nauman - Reuters)