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What deal Nawaz Sharif stroke with Israel?

Founder of Islamic Theology of Counter-Terrorism Think Tank, Noor Dahri while talking to Israeli media had claimed that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during his tenure, had sent two delegations to Israel in a bid to normalize relations with the country.

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Israeli media has claimed that the Pakistani delegation twice visited Tel  Aviv in the tenure of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. According to Israeli media, Nawaz Sharif sent the Pakistani delegation twice to Israel. A religious delegation was led by Moulvi Ajmal Qadri.

Reacting on the matter, SAPM Dr Shahbaz Gill in his tweet said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz vice president Maryam Nawaz should answer what deal her father stroke with Israel? and who were other members in the delegation sent on the visit.

Founder of Islamic Theology of Counter-Terrorism Think Tank, Noor Dahri while talking to Israeli media had claimed that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during his tenure, had sent two delegations to Israel in a bid to normalize relations with the country.

He said that Maryam Nawaz had tweeted the link of his interview with i24 to embrace Prime Minister Imran Khan and use this as a tool against the PTI government, but she soon deleted the tweet after realizing that details of sending delegations to Israel by Pakistan during the tenure of her father [Nawaz Sharif] were exposed in the interview.

“Pakistan will not recognize Israel”

Pakistan’s Foreign Office has categorically rejected rumors that it was considering recognizing Israel, referring to them as “baseless speculation”. “Responding to media queries, the Spokesperson categorically rejected baseless speculation regarding the possibility of recognition of the State of Israel by Pakistan,” read a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

The Foreign Office said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statements on recognizing Israel, in the past, had been “clear and unequivocal”.  “The Prime Minister has made it clear that unless a just settlement of the Palestine issue, satisfactory to the Palestinian people, is found, Pakistan cannot recognize Israel,” read the statement.

“For just and lasting peace, it is imperative to have a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State,” said the MoFA.

Read more: Israel reports say PM met Saudi crown prince, Riyadh denies

Rumors of Pakistan recognizing Israel started doing the rounds on social media after Israeli media stated that Netanyahu had met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a few days ago.

Arab world normalizing ties with Israel?

The Arab world has recently been seen resolving its conflict with Israel. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) normalized ties in August 2020. Bahrain and Sudan did in September and October respectively. Before August, only two Arab countries had official ties with Israel – Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Before that, the Arab state’s official recognition of Israel was conditional on the end of the occupation of Palestinian territories and the establishment of the two-state solution on the 1967 borders.

Analysts believe that the UAE has its eyes set on acquiring the US-made F-35 fighter jets, which could potentially shift the balance of power in the region. Israel is the only country in the region that has F-35s but dropped its opposition to their sale to the UAE after it said the US had assured it that Israeli military superiority would be preserved.

Read more: Pakistan backs two-state solution to Israel-Palestinian conflict: FM Qureshi

Experts, opinion makers and independent analysts in Islamabad believe that Pakistan’s popular discourse is unlikely to allow it to recognize Israel in the coming few years. It is also important to note the new alliance e.g. Turkey, Iran, and Malaysia as a new powerful bloc in the Muslim world is also playing an important role in Pakistan’s case. Pakistan is likely to stand by Iran and China in the coming years which may result from a paradigm shift in Pakistan’s foreign policy with regard to Saudi Arabia.

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