Israel and Pakistan:Strange Bedfellows or Natural Allies?

P.R. Kumaraswamy,Research Fellow, IDSA


It may be emotionally satisfying, but it is intellectually dishonest to compare one's theory with the other's practice. It is equally misleading to compare one's best with the other's worst.

— Bernard Lewis1

Is it possible to draw an objective parallel between the Jewish State of Israel and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan? Both states were created for the explicit purpose of securing a homeland for religious minorities. Forging a national identity with strong religious overtones, both were created around the same time, emerging from similar tragic and violent circumstances and consequences. At the same time, one cannot ignore the fundamental differences between the two countries. Unlike Israel, the creation of Pakistan cannot be described as an example of persecuted people "returning" to the land of their ancestors; nor can one ignore the contrasting natures of their political structure, orientation and direction. Both politicians and scholars alike have drawn both favourable and negative parallels between Israel and Pakistan that were often motivated by political considerations or certain hidden agendas.

Recent political developments in the Middle East as well as South Asia underscore the importance and relevance of understanding the complementary nature of these two countries. Important Pakistani leaders have given definite and sufficient indications that a comprehensive peace in the Middle East that would include an amicable settlement of the Israeli-Syrian dispute over the Golan Heights, would enable Islamabad to examine its policy vis-à-vis the Jewish state. Neither the stalemate in the Middle East peace process nor the nuclear tests in South Asia appear to have diluted this sentiment. When it becomes politically advantageous, both states would follow the examples of others and look for identical and similar issues that could forge and eventually consolidate their relations. An attempt is made here to examine certain similar traits between Israel and Pakistan.

Is it necessary to draw parallels between Israel and Pakistan? Are they strange bedfellows or natural allies who are bound by similar if not identical historic and socio-political circumstances? It is even legitimate to question the necessity to draw a parallel between the two, especially when India has opened up to the Jewish state. Until January 1992, such comparisons enabled India to portray Pakistan in a negative light in the Middle East and hence to consolidate and promote Indian interests among Arab and Islamic countries. For instance, Foreign Minister Dinesh Singh once attributed the absence of diplomatic ties with Israel to India's opposition to religion being the basis for nationality.2 One might even ask, when New Delhi is seeking to explore new spheres of cooperation, is it necessary to portray Pakistan and Israel in a favourable light?

Parallels and Political Correctness

If nations were not distinct and unique, the world would be a single large family devoid of border disputes, ethnic strife, prolonged conflicts and perennial search for identity and separateness. Every nation seeks to underscore its unique history, culture and political philosophy. At the same time, nations do not like to be isolated. Nations seeks others that share similar history, cherished values, common religious bonds or similar interests. They seek common partners and look for characteristics that unite or distinguish them. Drawing parallels, favourable or otherwise, between two states, therefore, becomes a function of political necessity, compulsions or prevailing "political correctness". Depending upon the prevalent regional and international environment, certain aspects of similarities gain priority over others and it becomes prudent and even convenient to ignore unsuitable ones. To paraphrase Bernard Lewis, similarities can be discovered, recreated or invented. Drawing parallels underscores not merely the existing similarities but also the political interests behind such an exercise. Nations revise, update or rewrite erstwhile parallels to suit current or new political demands.

Such an exercise becomes acute and interesting if it involves Israel. The prolongation of the Arab-Israeli conflict has inhibited a number of non-Western countries from seeking a balanced and objective approach towards the Middle East. Real or imaginary collaboration with Israel has became an important and at times convenient tool for a number of these states to degrade and deplore their regional rivals and opponents. The absence of formal ties facilitated a number of countries to exploit the situation. Accusations of collaborations with the Jewish state gathered currency in the Third World political discourse and a number of Arab and Islamic countries routinely sought legitimacy by accusing their rivals of conspiring with the Zionists. 3 For instance, a number of Middle Eastern commentators perceive the Monica Lewinsky affair that haunts US President Bill Clinton as a Zionist conspiracy.4

Some of the accusations are subtle while others have blatantly played the "Israel card". Historical facts and past associations are conveniently ignored or submerged by prevailing political considerations. For decades, China highlighted the shared anti-imperialist struggle of the Chinese and the Arabs. At one time, it even went to extent of drawing parallels between Israeli and Nazi behaviour.5 Nevertheless, when Beijing decided to recognise the Jewish state and establish formal diplomatic ties in January 1992, a different wind blew from the Middle Kingdom. New political realities compelled China to re-discover that Israel was the first Middle Eastern country to recognise the Communist revolution and that the Chinese and Israelis have ancient histories, rich civilisations, and have suffered under the foreign yoke. Such revisionism has become acute following the end of the Cold War when Israel ceased to be an international outcast.

South Asia is no exception to this general trend. Frequent parallels were drawn between the Indian and Palestinian partitions, Britain being the same imperial power in both cases, and the similar nature, motives and consequences of the communal divisions being too obvious to be ignored. Indian and Pakistani nationalists, Arabs, Zionists and others drew comparisons between the two developments. Depending upon specific requirements, these comparisons led to different conclusions. Conflicting assessments aside, certain general features are apparent. It is abundantly clear that the Palestine question influenced, dominated and shaped the foreign and, at times, the domestic policies of India and Pakistan. The events in the Middle East enabled to them to define, explain and portray their respective self-perceptions and identity. While the former sought to underscore its secular identity, the latter emphasised on its Islamic identity.

Considering the motives, one can broadly classify these comparisons with Israel into four distinct patterns. One, those that sought to promote Indian interests in the Middle East by drawing a negative comparison between Israel and Pakistan. Two, those that sought to promote Pakistani interests in the region by portraying India and Israel negatively. Three, those that sought cooperative relations between India and Israel and looked for positive similarities. And four, those that sought to promote cooperative relations between Israel and Pakistan.

For most part of the post-1947 history, the focus was on the first two categories, namely, both countries drew parallels between their adversaries and Israel. For India, Israel was another state created on the basis of religion while Pakistan sought to underscore India's real or imaginary ties with the Jewish state. The Indo-Israeli normalisation has only intensified Pakistani efforts to dwell upon the negative parallels. Until 1992, the third comparison was confined to those Israelis and their supporters who sought to break the anomaly and promote normalisation between the two non-Islamic countries in the region. They were ably supported by a small yet well-articulated, pro-Israeli lobby dominated by the Indian intelligentsia and urban elite. The last category of positive and favourable comparisons between Israel and Pakistan would have to wait for normalisation of relations between the two countries. This unexplored arena needs careful analysis and examination.

The Partitions

Since the early part of this century, Islamic undercurrents have shaped and influenced the policies of the Indian nationalists towards the Middle East. Notwithstanding their fundamental differences, the Congress and Muslim League leaders perceived the demand for a Jewish homeland in Palestine through an Islamic prism. Even though their support for the Arabs was explained in anti-imperialist, nationalist and secular terms, the Indian National Congress and its leaders were not immune to Islamic influences. This reached its peak in the early 1920s during the Khilafat struggle when they endorsed the Muslim struggle for the restoration of the Caliphate.6 Explicit religious terminologies such as Jazirat ul-Arab (comprising the erstwhile Arabia, including Iraq, Transjordan, Palestine and, especially, Hijaz), injunctions of the Prophet, Muslim sovereignty over the holy places and divine promises and commandments, were used to deny any Jewish claims in Palestine. Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), for instance, remarked:

The Muslims claim Palestine as an integral part of Jazirat ul-Arab. They are bound to retain its custody, as an injunction of the Prophet... The Jews cannot receive sovereign rights in a place which has been held for centuries by Muslim powers by right of religious conquest. The Muslim soldiers did not shed their blood in the last war for the purpose of surrendering Palestine out of Muslim control...7

The emergence of Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) in the post-Khilafat phase as the architect of the Congress Party's foreign policy, saw the gradual assertion of the secular-nationalist vocabulary.

However, being the territory with the largest number of Muslims, British India could not completely divorce itself from the Islamic interpretations of Jewish history and claims. Driven by the need to project itself as a national and not a sectarian or Hindu organisation, the Congress Party had to accommodate the religious demands of the Muslims. It is undeniable that their perception of the Jewish claims through an Islamic prism had prolonged the Indian inability and unwillingness to normalise relations with Israel. If the Congress Party was unsympathetic towards the Jewish nationalism, the position of the Muslim League that championed Pakistani nationalism, had been hostile, uncompromising and even contained racist overtones. The League vehemently demanded the withdrawal of the 1917 Balfour Declaration which promised a Jewish national home in Palestine.

At the same time, it is difficult not to draw parallels between the Indian and Palestinian partitions.8 The British being the rulers in both cases presented an ideal condition for such a comparison. Furthermore, both partitions were based on religious divisions. In both cases, the leaders of the Muslim community came with different and conflicting rationales. The Indian partition was keenly followed by the yishuv (pre-state Jewish community in Palestine) and pro-Zionist circles in the West. Even though the Palestinian situation was more complex and lacked territorial cohesion and depth, the partition of the subcontinent established a precedent and model for the creation of religion-based political divisions.9

Amidst World War II, while demanding national self-determination for Indian Muslims, Mohammed Ali Jinnah (1876?-1948) warned: "We do not wish to see that the history of Palestine should be repeated as it was after the last war, after we have paid for the promises in blood, money and material."10 While repudiating the imperial designs, Pakistan's first Foreign Minister Sir Zafrulla Khan vehemently denounced any parallels between the partitions of India and Palestine. He argued:11

1. In terms of size and population there was enormous disparity between Pakistan and Israel.

2. The Indian partition was based on mutual consent and no such agreement existed in Palestine.

3. Unlike India, the minorities in Palestine were not indigenous people, rather they came from outside.

4. Pakistan was formed by incorporating areas where the Muslims were a majority and no similar circumstance existed for the Jews of Palestine.

Except for hardened leftists like Tariq Ali, Pakistani scholars have avoided making any parallels between Israel and Pakistan.12 Not surprisingly, one Islamic scholar remarked: "Hardly....another state, except perhaps Algeria, was born to face from the very outset such overwhelming problems as did Pakistan."13

To avoid over simplification and misleading interpretations, it is essential to underscore the essential differences between the circumstances that led to the creation of Israel and Pakistan. Formal and serious beginnings of political Zionism can be traced to 1896 when Theodore Herzl (1860-1904) published his small yet monumental work Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State).14 Return to the Zion was both an answer and a consequence of the troubled Jewish history in Europe, more acutely in its Eastern part. Since the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in 70 AD, the Jewish life was plagued with prolonged suffering, expulsion, inquisition, massacre, various forms of subjugation, enslavement and humiliation, and finally the holocaust under the Nazis. Neither conversion nor exile resolved the basic problem. Therefore, the Zionists argued that the creation of an independent sovereign Jewish entity alone could resolve the Jewish problem and guarantee their existence and survival. Because of historical links and strong religious bondage, they argued that the holy land of Palestine alone could house such an entity. In short, the formation of Israel was seen by them as the "return" of Jews to the ancient land of their ancestors. The long passage of time did not materially alter their alien status in the Diaspora and hence the Zionists argued that Jewish immigration (aliya) to Palestine was merely the return of the refugees to their homeland.15

No one can claim that the formation of Pakistan fulfilled any divine prophecy or commandment. On the contrary, if Muslims are a separate nation, formation of another Islamic political entity could at best be a temporary phenomenon, until the formation of one unified Islamic entity. The Muslims of pre-partitioned India cannot be said to have endured any of the miseries that visited the Jews in the Diaspora. At best, Jinnah and his colleagues were apprehensive of the intentions of the Hindu-dominated Congress towards the Muslims, and its ability and willingness to provide for and facilitate the progress and well-being of the minorities. In short, they were seeking to "escape the yoke of the more numerous Hindus."16 Invocation of past Muslim rule was merely aimed at arousing popular sentiments as most of the areas ruled by the Muslims in the past lay outside Pakistan's present territorial limits. Furthermore, those areas that constituted Pakistan in 1947 had a predominant Muslim population. Neither the huge distance between its two wings nor its interest in the Muslim-ruled princely state of Hyderabad in southern India altered this basic premise. The same cannot be said about the evolution of Israel where the formation of a national home predominantly, if not entirely, depended upon the immigration from the Diaspora. Unlike the Pakistani case, at the time of partition, the Jewish population was not a majority in any of the sub-districts of Palestine. Immigration, the principal cause of Arab opposition to Zionism, was an integral part, and an essential component of, the formation of the state of Israel.


The partition of the subcontinent compelled both India and Pakistan to look to the Middle East as an important area of cooperation and support. Besides geographical proximity, such a desire was also due to the region being the Islamic heartland. The struggle for regional pre-eminence and the Kashmir problem compelled both countries to adopt an overtly pro-Arab policy. In this bilateral race for regional support, Israel became a tool as well as a victim. For both countries, support for the Palestinian cause or more specifically, opposition to Israel and its policies, became the central aspect of their Middle East policy. The pre-eminence of Islam in India's policy towards the region led some Indian leaders to perceive the positive aspects of the partition of the subcontinent. One such person was K.M. Panikkar (1895-1963) who held senior diplomatic positions in the Middle East and elsewhere. In a confidential memorandum to the Zionists, written on the eve of India's independence, he argued that the creation of a separate Muslim state in the subcontinent would enable India to develop a sympathetic policy towards Jewish aspirations in Palestine.17

In India, the religious nature of Israel and Pakistan drew widespread attention and provided an opportunity to project a favourable comparison with Arab nationalism based on secularism. For instance, speaking to reporters in Cairo in 1966, shortly after becoming prime minister, Indira Gandhi was emphatic: "Our support [to Arab countries] is not only due to our traditional friendship towards the Arab people but to our belief in, and commitment to, socialism and to the principle that states should not be carved out or created on the basis of religion."18 Likewise, India's traditional support to the Arabs and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has been understood and promoted in secular terms. Even the regional shift towards Islamic revivalism following the defeat of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-70) in the June 1967 War did not modify the Indian position. Infuriated by prolonged Indian unfriendliness towards his country, Israeli Consul Yossef Hasseen charged that India's actions were motivated by its desire to out-manoeuvre Pakistan.19

For their part, most Pakistanis perceive cynical similarities between India and the Jewish state and repeatedly underscore the dangers of conspiratorial relations between the two. Not only had New Delhi recognised Israel, but also allowed an Israeli consular mission in Bombay since 1952. Islamabad's opposition to Israel has been consistent with the pre-partition position of the Muslim League. Unlike the Congress Party, the League had adopted a steadfast and uncompromising position towards the Balfour Declaration and had repeatedly called for the annulment of the Mandate of Palestine. At times, its fury at the British "betrayal" of the Arabs turned inwards. For instance, speaking at the League's Patna session in December 1938, one learned delegated declared: "... both the British and the Hindus were Jews to Muslims, that is, their enemies. In India, Mr. Gandhi was the leader of the Hindu Jews."20 When the United Nations deliberated the future political status of Palestine, Pakistani opposition to partition was more vocal and vociferous than India's. Unlike the latter that proposed a federal solution, its Foreign Minister Sir Zafrulla Khan (1893-1985) boisterously, albeit unsuccessfully, campaigned for a unitary Palestine. The trend has continued since then. Some went to the extent of alerting the public of an "Indo-Israel collaboration against the Muslim world."21 Real or perceived political understanding or security collaboration between India and Israel has occupied a prominent position in Pakistan's diplomatic postures towards the Middle East. Growing interactions between India and Israel are often seen in Islamabad as "Hindu-Zionist" or "Brahmin-Jewish" conspiracy against Pakistan and the Muslim world.22

Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao's decision in January 1992 to establish formal diplomatic relations with Israel, however, altered the ground reality. The move completed a process that began in September 1950 when India recognised the Jewish state.23 Responding to the rapidly changing international environment following the end of the Cold War and the commencement of direct Arab-Israeli negotiations in Madrid, Rao took Rajiv Gandhi's half-hearted measures towards their logical conclusions. India earned the dubious distinction of being the last major non-Arab and non-Islamic state to establish normal relations with Israel.24 This belated move, however, eliminated the tradition of making non-relations with Israel the principal plank of India's Middle East diplomacy. Indian leaders and academics began searching for areas of common interest and historical similarities. In short, drawing negative parallels between Israel and Pakistan no longer serves Indian interests.

If the Indian government was behind the public opinion on Israel,25 the converse is true of Pakistan. Due to strong religious and emotional sentiments, the question of Israel and normalisation of relations evoke a certain animosity in Pakistan. As such, demands for normalisation or re-examination of the traditional policy are more subtle and less pronounced than in India. However, it would be very difficult for Pakistan to remain immune and indifferent towards the rapidly changing Middle East landscape. The presence of many Arab representatives at the funeral of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (1922-95) was testimony to the emerging new political climate. There is no need for Pakistan to be more Arab than the Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians or the Gulf sheikhs. A comprehensive peace in the region is bound to modify, dilute and mitigate Pakistan's traditional public position towards Israel. While this process is likely to be slower than those of the Gulf sheikhdoms, an Israeli-Pakistani rapprochement, if not accommodation, would compel both countries to seek areas of similarities and draw favourable parallels. In the changed political situations, it is inevitable that erstwhile negative stereotypes would give way to a positive parallel, one that benefits both countries. While there are a number of similarities between them,26 this article would examine three broad issues, namely, minority nationalism based on religion, demand for a national home for minorities, and security consciousness.

1. Right of Self-Determination

Since new political entities have been carved out of, or emerged from, larger units, it is natural that the perceptions of the majority and minority communities differ. Geographical diminution angered and anguished the majority that viewed the emergence of new entities as secession and vivisection of the motherland. For the minority, however, the issues appeared differently and with positive attributes. This dichotomy reflects the differences between the major players over the definition of "minority" and, consequently, the latter's aspirations and nature of relationship with the "majority". By definition, the minority is numerically inferior and hence self-determination based on numbers does not work in its favour. It perceives democracy as a euphemism for its marginalisation under majority domination or at worst a synonym for oppression. The majority-minority tension is complicated by another dimension: religion. Religion plays a crucial role in defining and shaping individual and collective identities. In the name of universal brotherhood, every religion has created a bipolar world, namely, believer and non-believer, faithful and infidel, or simply Us vs Them. While unifying the followers, religion also intensifies the differences with the others. Every religion has a unique way of treating the foreigner. While some have undergone practical modifications to keep up with the changing times, others have not. This inherent dichotomy is accentuated if religion assumes a national identity or when a national identity is formulated along religious lines.

Both the Zionists and the Muslim League adopted an identical approach towards the right of self-determination of religious minorities in Palestine and India respectively. Their numerical inferiority prevented and precluded the possibility of a political decision based on universal adult franchise. Rejecting a parallel between Israel and his country, Zafrulla Khan reminded the UN that the Pakistani population was over 100 times larger than that of Israel. He was only partly correct. Though British India had the largest Muslim concentration in the world, Muslims were merely the largest minority in a predominantly Hindu India. This demographic asymmetry compelled the League to seek "communal parity" with the Congress Party. Neither its dismal electoral performance in the Muslim dominated areas in the summer of 1937 nor the preference for India by a large majority of Muslims of the subcontinent a decade later inhibited the League from claiming an exclusive representative status for itself.

The League divided the Indian population along the classical religious mould: Us vs Them. That the us component was a numerical, social, cultural and historic minority in India did not bother the League. In other words, speaking in the name of the entire Muslim community in the undivided India, the League divided the subcontinent along communal lines, Muslims and non-Muslims. The success of the League in creating Pakistan depended solely on its ability to project and convince both the British and the believers that it was a national and not a communal organisation and hence it should be treated on par with the Congress Party. Only in this manner was it able to circumvent the numerical question and avoid minority status for Indian Muslims.27 It was unwilling to accept the election of Muslims either from predominantly non-Muslim constituencies or on non-League platforms. Accepting such anomalies would have undermined and negated the League's claim for parity and exclusive representative status.

A similar situation prevailed in Palestine. The formation of the modern Jewish state began with the Balfour Declaration which pledged the British support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. It declared: "... nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine." When Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930) gave these assurances to the Zionists in November 1917, the Jewish community in Palestine was small and non-Jews constituted about 92 per cent of the total population. Despite continuous legal and illegal immigration since the late 19th century, the numerical asymmetry against the Jews continued right until the formation of the Jewish state in 1948. Even the UN partition proposal envisaged a Jewish state with a slim majority.28 It was only after the massive immigration from European and Arab countries and the exodus of Arab refugees from the area that became the Jewish state, was Israel able to secure a Jewish majority. The success of the Zionist enterprise in Palestine not only depended upon the creation of a homeland in a hostile environment but also in persuading a large portion of the Diaspora to make aliya to that homeland. Conflicting interpretations aside, it meant the creation of a state by making the Jews return to the land of their ancestors. Acutely aware of the demographic asymmetry, the Zionists, like the Muslim League, opted for a national self-determination based not on universal adult franchise but on the principle of parity—parity between Jews and non-Jews or between incoming Jews and native Arabs.

In July 1937, summing up the general position of the Jewish nationalists, the Royal Palestine Commission headed by Earl Peel remarked:

.... The Jews did not wish, they said, to be 'dominated' by the Arabs, neither did they wish to 'dominate them'. They were prepared, therefore, to adhere to the principle of 'parity'. If a Legislative Council were now established, and if the present Jewish minority were given an equal number of seats thereon with the present Arab majority, the Jews would never claim more than that equal number whatever the future ratio between Arab and Jewish population might become.29

When they were demanding parity with the Arabs, the yishuv constituted just over 28 per cent of the total population of Palestine.

If both opted for a minority-based separation, the Islamists preferred a conflicting approach towards the nationalist demands of the minorities. Their responses were guided by strong Islamic considerations. In India, where the Muslims were a minority, they argued that because of their religious identity, Muslims were a separate nation from the majority Hindus and hence were entitled to a separate political entity. Without it, the believer would be unable to lead a truly religious life. This argument, however, was disadvantageous in Palestine where the Muslims were the majority. Therefore, since Islam treats the Jews as protected dhimmis (non-Muslim subjects of a Muslim ruler), the minority Jews would have to accept the majority rule and abandon their demand for a separate national home. In the words of S.M. Burke, partition "the only means of real freedom to the Indian Muslims ... was anathema to Muslims elsewhere."30 Zafrulla Khan aptly summed up this inherent dilemma facing the Muslims.

The United Nations cannot subscribe to the principle that a racial or religious minority, whether arising from national development or created as a result of immigration, can insist upon the breaking up of a homeland or shatter the political, geographical and economic unity of a country without the consent and against the wishes of the majority.31

While it is possible to apply this logic to the Indian subcontinent, Zafrulla Khan himself developed second thoughts about the partition of Palestine. During his conversations with Arab interlocutors in December shortly after the UN vote in November 1947, but a few months before the formation of Israel, he remarked that partition was the only solution for Palestine and had counselled the Arabs to allow the establishment of a Jewish state.32

In both cases, the response of the majority towards minority separatism was also radically different. In spite of its fundamental opposition to the two-nation theory, the majority segment of the Indian population represented by the Congress Party, had accepted the division as a painful but inevitable price for freedom. While one might question the wisdom of Nehru's negotiating position vis-à-vis the League, the partition had mutual consent. As a result, even though Pakistan had legitimate security concerns and fears over India's regional ambitions, no responsible Indian leader sought to undo the partition. Even those segments of Hindu nationalists who visualised the incorporation of Pakistan into a greater India or Akhand Bharat gradually came to terms with the objective reality. The same cannot be said about the partition of Palestine where the Arab leaders had vehemently opposed the partition plan. The Arab-Israeli problem was not about territorial integrity, border or other political differences. It is largely a far more fundamental conflict over Israel's right to exist. Not only have the Arab leaders refused to accept the partition but for decades the Arab and Islamic countries in the region and elsewhere treated Israel not as a state but as an alien and even temporary "entity". Even after the on-going peace process between Israel and its Arab neighbours, Israel does not figure in the official maps published by many countries in the region.

2. Homeland for Minorities

In both the cases, the minorities were apprehensive of their fate following the British withdrawal and feared that independence under a unitary state would be nothing more than a majority domination. It is possible to question whether such fears were real or imaginary but they existed. The League thrived on the notion that the removal of the British from India would place the Muslims, India's rulers before the arrival of the imperialists, at the mercy of the Hindus. It was unwilling to believe that the non-Muslims could and would protect and represent Muslim interests. It had little faith in the liberal democratic framework whereby the political structure would be based on popular acceptance and political accountability rather than on religious affiliations. The concerns of the Zionists were only marginally different. The demand for a Jewish homeland in Palestine was the culmination of various forms of social, political, religious and economic persecution that beleaguered the Jews for two millenia. Contrary to general perceptions in Third World countries, dhimma status granted to the Jews does not envisage equality between Muslims and non-Muslims.33 The attainment of Jewish sovereignty was seen by the founding fathers of Israel as the only realistic alternative to their troubled history. In coming to Palestine they were not seeking to live under the Muslim Arabs. The purpose was not to seek a new master but to be one's own ruler.

The formation of Israel and Pakistan underscores the importance of minority separatism; both sought the creation of a homeland where the community could preserve its distinct religious, cultural and economic identity and live with honour and dignity. Their separate national identities needed a separate territorial expression and hence separate nation-states. Their aspiration for political power and sovereignty was an inevitable outcome of this process when religious separatism gradually assumed a territorial form. In both cases, the nationalist leaders were realistic enough to settle for a much smaller territory than they originally envisaged and desired.

Both are seen and projected as modern nation-states that were created to be "a homeland" for Jews and Muslims respectively. For their citizens, the creation of a separate political entity was a refuge for persecuted or suffering minorities. The acceleration of popular support for Zionism and the League was partly due to a romanticised version of "national home." In practice, however, there are serious differences between the two. Under a unique piece of legislation known as "Law of Return" enacted in July 1950, Israel grants automatic and unrestricted citizenship rights to any Jewish immigrant from the Diaspora. Even though strong opposition from the Orthodox religious circles has so far prevented a clear definition of "Jew", the idea of unconditional and unrestricted Jewish immigration enjoys national consensus, approval and practice in Israel. Since its formation in 1948, Israel had devoted considerable attention and effort in bringing in Jews from far and wide. If Jews of Arab origin were brought under various clandestine moves in the 1950s and 1960s, Jews from Ethiopia and the Soviet Union and its successor states, dominated the aliya in the 1980s and 1990s. Occasional calls from certain quarters to place restrictions upon potential immigrants (for instance, following Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, certain leftist quarters demanded the screening of potential immigrants for their extremist views) came under severe criticism from mainstream Israelis.

Pakistan, however, belonged to a different category and from the beginning its leaders had no illusions. On the eve of partition, Jinnah visualised a Pakistan where Hindus and Muslims would live in harmony and peace and went to the extent of claiming that in the social sense, Hindus would be cease to be Hindus and Muslims would be cease to be Muslims. This egalitarian vision was aimed at negating, at an early stage, the idea of Pakistan being a homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent. For all intents and purposes, Pakistan was not, and was never visualised as, a solution for the Indian Muslims. While frequently projecting Pakistan as the spokesperson of Indian Muslims after 1947, the rulers had no illusion about Pakistan having to absorb the vast number of Muslims who stayed behind. The two-nation theory was confined to those areas where the Muslims constituted a numerical majority and Pakistan never aspired to grant unrestricted citizenship rights to Indian Muslims. Its refusal to absorb even those Pakistanis who lived in the erstwhile East Pakistan and the continued problems facing Muhajirs (Urdu-speaking Muslim migrants from India) underscore the contrast between Israel and Pakistan over the question and interpretation of homeland. While the national home became the objective of the former, it was nothing more than a political vehicle for the League towards the attainment of Pakistan.

3. Preoccupation with Security

Since their formation, both Israel and Pakistan suffered from an existential threat and struggled for their regional acceptance. It is no coincidence that the military-security establishment occupies a pivotal role in both countries. In Israel, it is an effective vehicle for national unity and cohesion, and in Pakistan, it has been the ultimate arbitrator of power struggles. While the degree of external threats varied, it is undeniable that both states have genuine fears about their acceptance by the majority from whom they seceded. Pakistan cannot be said to have faced an existential threat of the magnitude and intensity that Israel had to endure; yet apprehensions over India's intentions and capabilities did shape its domestic and foreign policies. That many Indian leaders were writing its political obituary did not help the situation. Moreover, India's attitude over the division of financial and other resources was not equitable.34 The geographical incongruity between the two wings of Pakistan proved fatal in 1971 when India decided to actively aid, support and finally fight along with East Pakistan and eventually led to another partition of the subcontinent. While the emergence of Bangladesh was seen in India as the final annulment of the two-nation theory, Pakistan reads it as an indication of India's ulterior motives and its aspiration for regional hegemony and domination.

Likewise, Israel's accommodation and acceptance by its regional neighbours have been painful, slow and far from complete. For decades, its neighbours were seeking to annul the partition and create an Arab Palestine that would incorporate the Jewish state. A vulnerable territorial base did not improve Israel's position and brought it close to the brink in 1967 and 1973. One might add that the belated Arab acceptance of the Jewish state was the result of various regional and international developments and the realisation that Israel cannot be wished away. If Pakistan is worried about the qualitatively superior India, Israel is apprehensive of the Arabs' quantitative superiority.

It is possible to challenge the threat perceptions of both countries. Fears that Pakistan and to a lesser extent Israel have entertained over their Indian and Arab neighbours respectively, are imaginary and "external enemy" was primarily a bogey aimed at fostering internal cohesion and unity. Whether rational or not, the fears over the intentions and potentials of their adversaries have been genuine and real. Before long both realised that they would not be able to manage and mitigate their existential threat on their own. Not surprisingly, they opted for two distinct but identical options; namely, extra-regional linkages and the nuclear option. The onset of the Cold War and the American drive for anti-Communist military alliances suited their calculations. Without unduly alienating Moscow, both tactfully capitalised on the American-led alliance system to address their respective regional security concerns. There are some crucial differences. Pakistan joined the US-backed military and political blocs such as the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO), South-East Asian Treaty Organisation (SEATO) and Regional Cooperation and Development (RCD).35

Israel was less fortunate. At a time when Arab opposition barred its entry into even non-political regional organisations of various UN agencies, political and military alliances were beyond Israel's reach. While it was eager to forge and formalise strong military relations with Washington, vital economic interests in the Arab world prevented the latter from incorporating the Jewish state into any formal military pact or alliance system. This tactical difference came to the forefront during the 1991 Operation Desert Storm when Israel, coming under Iraqi Scud attacks, was forced to remain a "silent partner" in the US-led offensive against Iraq. Hampered by this inherent Western reluctance, Israel opted for a bilateral security relationship, first with France, and then with the US; the former contributed to Israel's nuclear capability and the latter sustained Israel's technological edge over its Arab neighbours.

Secondly, fears over their conventional as well as quantitative inferiority drove both countries to follow the footsteps of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) into developing a deterrence posture based on the nuclear option.36 Even before the nuclear tests, it was widely accepted that together with India, both countries have crossed the nuclear threshold and can attain the coveted status of nuclear-weapon states. Over the years, Israel has developed a sophisticated and well-argued security doctrine based on nuclear deterrence. The same is not true of Pakistan. Notwithstanding a potential conflict of interest over the possibility of the Pakistani bomb transforming into an Islamic one and hence a threat to the Jewish state, both countries took identical paths to attain the nuclear potential. In numerous ways they benefited from the same patrons, namely the US and France. Their willingness to seek and secure regional arms control arrangements is a part of the security dilemma facing them. Because of this, their position enjoys greater appreciation and understanding among the non-proliferation circles. Unlike India, their refusal to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is not based on idealism nor do they aspire for a moral high-ground. Their approach towards nuclear deterrence, regional arms control or non-proliferation is a strong and well thought out policy rooted in, and harmonious to, realistic security considerations. It is no accident that both sent observers to the last two NPT review conferences in 1990 and 1995.

This identical security perception has spilled over to the foreign policy arena. Unlike the others (Arabs and India), they pursued a realistic foreign policy devoid of idealism and rhetoric. At the time of independence, Israel and Pakistan opted for a non-aligned foreign policy that sought friendly relations with the rival blocs of the Cold War. If the presence of substantial numbers of Jews in Eastern Europe inhibited Israel from pursuing any anti-Moscow foreign policy, geographical proximity prevented Pakistan from antagonising its northern neighbour. A host of regional developments curtailed their options and soon they firmly entrenched themselves in the Western camp. Shortly they emerged as principal allies and, at times, proxies of Washington in the region. Their strong political, economic and security relationship with Iran during the tenure of the Shah, for instance, was part of the pro-Western political orientation.

It was not accidental that both were wary of Egyptian President Nasser and his brand of Arab nationalism. Both had different reasons. Israel was apprehensive of Arab unity under a charismatic leader whose support extended beyond Egypt and the Arab world. For its part, Pakistan was seeking an Islamic bloc that would benefit and enhance its credentials as an Islamic power. The nationalist and secular orientation of Nasserism brought Israel and Pakistan on the same side, especially during David Ben-Gurion's ill-fated Suez misadventure in 1956. While Israel was stigmatised for its collaboration with the imperial powers, Pakistan earned the dubious distinction of being a major Third World power not to have endorsed Nasser's position.

For entirely different reasons, their political fortunes in the region and elsewhere improved significantly following the end of Nasserism and the emergence of Saudi-sponsored Islamic revivalism. The formation of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) facilitated and enhanced Pakistan's influence in the region.37 Though the formation of the bloc was sparked off by the fire in the al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, the impact of the OIC upon the prevailing anti-Israeli sentiments in the region and elsewhere was moderate. The first Islamic Summit in Rabat that saw the formation of the OIC, for instance, did not even directly blame Israel for the fire at al-Aqsa.38 Likewise, both countries were eager to end Egyptian isolation in the Middle East following President Anwar Sadat's (1918-81) historical visit to Jerusalem in 1977 and the subsequent Camp David Agreement with Israel. Though unwilling to publicly endorse the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, Pakistani President Gen. Zia ul-Haq (1924-88) worked hard to secure Cairo's re-entry into the Islamic bloc and hence the Arab League.39

Scope for Normalisation

Are they strange bedfellows or natural allies? The answer largely lies in the political climate in which such parallels are drawn. Notwithstanding serious differences, there are great similarities between Jewish nationalism and Pakistani nationalism. The formation of Israel and Pakistan revolved around the nature of relationship between majority and minority communities and the struggle of the latter towards an independent national-cultural entity. For obvious reasons, Israel has been extremely circumspect about discussing its ties with Pakistan. It sees Pakistan as an important Islamic state in Asia and because of the close ties that the latter has established with important conservative regimes in the Middle East, a possible conduit to the larger Islamic world.

Taking a U-turn towards Israel would not be easy for Pakistan. In 1947, it led the Islamic opposition to the partition plan and the passage of time has only intensified this zeal. Unlike India, Pakistan had neither recognised nor established any formal relationship with the Jewish state. Mahatma Gandhi's personal contacts with secondary and minor Zionist leaders have been subjected to considerable attention and criticism in Pakistani writings.40 For too long, it found itself in the forefront of the anti-Zionist struggle and availed of every opportunity to display its Islamic credentials by anti-Israeli rhetoric. Its prolonged support for the Palestinian cause has been grounded, expressed and channelled through Islam. The public discord between the two came into the open in September 1994 when Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto created an uproar in Israel when she sought to visit the Gaza Strip without any formal contacts with the Israeli authorities.41 Furthermore, the gradual consolidation of democracy and plurality in Pakistan has often been used to ferment anti-Israeli sentiments, and political opponents are often discredited as Zionist agents and spies.42 Responding to the sympathy that Rabin's assassination evoked among important Arab countries, a Pakistani daily wrote: "The conversion of Yasser Arafat to the cause of the Israeli hegemony in the Middle East explains his regrets over his master's [that is Rabin's] death than any concern for the people who call themselves Palestinians."43 In short, Pakistan's anti-Israeli Islamic indoctrination has been virulent and prolonged.

Beneath the standard hardline rhetoric in public, however, Pakistan has been following a subtle but more complicated approach towards Israel. There is pragmatism behind the public rhetoric. While the relationship between Israel and Pakistan and their historical and diplomatic associations are discussed elsewhere, suffice to note that leader members of the Muslim League and Pakistan had met and discussed with key Zionist and Israeli figures.44 Some of these discussions were conducted by none other than Sir Zafrulla Khan, a key opponent of the partition plan. It was Gen. Zia who compared Islamic Pakistan to Jewish Israel.45 India and Sri Lanka,46 two South Asian states with significant Muslim populations, had to be extremely circumspect towards Israel. It is, therefore, unrealistic to expect Pakistan, a state with a strong sense of Islamic identity, to swiftly move towards normalisation with Israel. The question, therefore, is not "whether" but "when and under what circumstances".

Following the Oslo Accord, Pakistan indicated that under certain circumstances it would review its policy towards Israel. It is abundantly clear that significant progress in the peace process would facilitate and accelerate Pakistani rapprochement with the Jewish state. It would be unwise to conclude otherwise. In January 1996, in an exclusive interview to the leading Israeli daily Yedi'oth Ahronoth, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto candidly admitted that her country was waiting for the "prime actors" in the region to move closer towards normalisation with Israel and added, "When they will do it, Pakistan will be able to decide."47 Likewise, days before the 1996 Israeli elections, she declared that Pakistan's decision "on relations and cooperation with Israel should take into consideration the approval of the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference."48


Contrary to public rhetoric, Israel and Pakistan have more similarities than differences. As states created to safeguard religious minorities, both are facing stiff challenges from the conservative circles who demand a greater share in power. Both came into existence because of the strong conviction that a separate sovereign political entity would be the only means of safeguarding the interests and welfare of the religious minorities. After independence, both have evolved a similar world view on important foreign policy and security issues. For long, anti-Zionism has been popular in Pakistan, and if and when Pakistan establishes formal diplomatic relations with Israel, both sides would look at the similar paths that they had tread and their shared legacy and common interests. Therefore, when the political realities so demand, Israel and Pakistan will underscore their common minority nationalism based on religion, their identical demand for a national home for minorities and their similar security and foreign policy considerations.



1. Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam (Princeton University Press, 1987 pb) p. 7.

2. Foreign Affairs Record, vol. 20, no. 5, May 1969, p. 110.

3. For an interesting treatment of the Middle Eastern conspiracy theories, see Daniel Pipes, The Hidden Hand: Middle East Fears of Conspiracy (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996).

4. For a detailed discussion, see P.R. Kumaraswamy, "The Lewinsky Bomb," Middle East Quarterly, vol. 6, no. 1, March 1999, 57-66.

5. Renmin Ribao, April 10, 1986, in FBIS-CHI, April 28, 1986, pp. I/1-2.

6. For a detailed discussion, see Gail Minoult, The Khilafat Movement: Religious Symbolism and Political Mobilisation in India (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982).

7. Young India, April 6, 1921, Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (New Delhi: Publications Divisions of the Government of India, 1958ff), p. 530. This statement which came after the Balfour Declaration (November 1917) but before the Mandate granted to Great Britain was proclaimed (July 1922), explicitly ruled out a Jewish state or sovereign in Palestine.

8. For a serious and interesting discussion, see T.G. Fraser, Partition in Ireland, India and Palestine: Theory and Practice (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984).

9. One such lucid memorandum was written by Zionist emissary Jacob Robinson, "Partition of India: Implications for Palestine", Central Zionist Archives (Jerusalem) S25/9029. This undated memorandum was written between July 9 and August 15, 1947.

10. Jinnah's presidential speech in the Allahabad session of the League in April 1942 in S.S. Pirzada, ed., Foundations of Pakistan: All India Muslim League Documents (1906-1947), (Karachi: National Publishing House, 1969), vol. 2, p. 388.

11. S.M. Burke, Pakistan's Foreign Policy: An Historical Analysis (London: Oxford University Press, 1973) p. 138.

12. Tariq Ali, Can Pakistan Survive? Death of a State (London: Verso, 1983), pp. 223-224n.

13. Aziz Ahmad, "India and Pakistan", in P.M. Holt, et al., The Cambridge History of Islam: The Indian Sub-Continent, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Muslim West, Vol. 2A (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989 pb) p. 110.

14. For a comprehensive and sympathetic study, see Walter Laqueur, A History of Zionism (New York: Schochen, 1989, pb).

15. Unfortunately, however, that "homeland" was not an empty uninhabited place. Paraphrasing the popular myth in 1901, Anglo-Jewish writer Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) wrote that the aim of Zionism was to bring people without land "to a land without people." The New Liberal Review, vol. 2, 1901, p. 627. I am grateful to Dick Bruggeman for enabling me trace this quotation.

16. Burke, n. 11, p. 65.

17. P.R. Kumaraswamy, "K.M. Panikkar and Indo-Israeli Relations", International Studies, vol. 32, no. 2, July 1995, pp. 327-37. With hindsight, however, clearly contrary to Panikkar's optimism, independent India's policy towards the Jewish state was only marginally different from the erstwhile policies of the Congress Party during the freedom struggle.

18. Quoted in G.H. Jansen, Zionism, Israel and Asian Nationalism (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1971) p. 302. Emphasis ended.

19. Sunday Observer, June 27, 1982. His outspoken interview angered the Indian government and led to his unceremonious expulsion.

20. Carried away by the intense atmosphere, another remarked: "The real Jews of the West were the British and those of the East were the Hindus and both were sons of Shylock." However, following admonitions from M.A. Jinnah, Abdul Khaliq withdrew his remarks "Jews of the East and West are sons of Shylock." For a brief summary of the deliberations, see Pirzada, n. 10, vol. 2, pp. 316-18.

21. This is the sub-title of Muhammad Hamid's work The Unholy Alliance (Lahore: Islamic Book Centre, 1978). See also Fahmida Ashraf, "Indo-Israeli Relations", Strategic Studies, vol. 16, nos. 1-2, 1993, pp. 99-106; and Maqsudul Hasan Nuri, "The Indo-Israeli Nexus", Regional Studies, vol. 12, no. 3, Summer 1994, pp. 3-56.

22. Following the visit of President Ezer Weizman to India in December 1996, the Pakistani media highlighted such conspiracies. See, "Weizman's India Visit: Zionist-Brahmin Alliance against Pakistan", editorial, The Muslim, January 3, 1997, in FBIS-NES, January 7, 1997; and "India's Trishul Test and Israeli President's Visit", editorial, Nawa-i-Waqt, January 1, 1997, FBIS-NES, January 6, 1997.

23. P.R. Kumaraswamy, "India's Recognition of Israel, September 1950", Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 31, no. 1, January 1995, pp. 124-38.

24. P.R. Kumaraswamy, "India and Israel: Prelude to Normalisation", Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 19, no. 2, Winter 1995, pp. 53-73. See also J.N. Dixit, My South Block Years (New Delhi: UPS, 1996), pp. 309-15.

25. Writing to his old friend, Israeli Orientalist Immanuel Olsvanger shortly after India's recognition, Panikkar wrote that it was "one of the few occasions when the Government of India may be said to have been behind its own public opinion." "Panikkar to Olsvanger, September 19, 1050", Israel State Archives (Jerusalem), Foreign Office File no. 71/14b.

26. P.R. Kumaraswamy, "The Strange Parallel Careers of Israel and Pakistan", Middle East Quarterly, vol. 4, no. 2, June 1997, pp. 31-39.

27. For an interesting discussion of this issue, see Farzana Shaikh, "Muslims and Political Representation in Colonial India: The Making of Pakistan", Modern Asian Studies, vol. 20, no. 3, July 1986, pp. 539-57.

28. According to the majority partition plan proposed by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), along with 407,000 Arabs, the proposed Jewish state would include about "90,000 Bedouins, cultivators and stock owners who seek grazing further afield in dry seasons." This additional population was not Jewish and thus at the time of partition the proposed Jewish state would consist of 498,000 Jews and 497,000 Arabs or non-Jews. However, the partition plan adopted by the General Assembly on November 29, 1947, did not explicitly discuss the population of the two states.

29. Palestine Royal Commission Report, Cmd. 5479, (London, 1937), p. 143. Emphasis added.

30. Burke, n. 11, p. 66.

31. Quoted in Fraser, n. 8, p. 176.

32. Summary of Uriel Heyd's (Orientalist working for Zionist intelligence in London) letter to Chaim Weizmann (future first president of Israel) d. January 1, 1948, The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann, Series A, vol. 23, (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press, 1968ff), p. 75n. Both before and after the establishment of Israel, Zafrulla Khan met Weizmann at least on two, possibly three, separate occasions in London and New York and even visited Palestine in late 1945. Moreover, at a news conference in Cairo in February 1952, the Pakistani foreign minister called for Arab acceptance of the Jewish state. This public statement led to a meeting between Israel's ambassador to the United Nations Abba Eban and his Pakistani counterpart Ahmed S. Bokhari in April 1952. Eban to Bokhari, d. June 3, 1952, Yehoshua Freundlich, Documents on the Foreign Policy of Israel (Jerusalem: Israel State Archives, 1992), vol. 7, pp. 277-9.

33. For a detailed and authoritative discussion see, Lewis, n. 1.

34. Burke, n. 11, pp. 8-10; see also, Ayesha Jalal, "India's Partition and the Defence of Pakistan", The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 15, no. 3, May 1987, pp. 289-310.

35. Anees Jillani, "Pakistan and CENTO: An Historical Analysis", Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 15, no. 1, Fall 1991, pp. 40-53.

36. For comprehensive treatments, see Leonard Spector, Going Nuclear (Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1987); and The Undeclared Bomb, (Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1988) and Nuclear Ambitions: The Spread of Nuclear Weapons 1989-90 (Boulder: Westview, 1990).

37. For discussions on the historical role, see Arif Hussain, Pakistan: Its Ideology and Foreign Policy, (London: Frank Cass, 1966), pp. 129-52; Salayman S. Nyang, "Pakistan's Role in the Organisation of Islamic Conference", Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 7, no. 3, Spring 1984, pp. 14-33; S.S. Pirzada, "Pakistan and OIC", Pakistan Horizon, vol. 40, no. 2, April 1987, pp. 14-38; and Michael B. Bishku, "In Search of Identity and Security: Pakistan and the Middle East, 1947-77", Conflict Quarterly, vol. 12, no. 3, Summer 1992, pp. 30-51. For a general discussion of the OIC, see Noor Ahmad Baba, Organisation of Islamic Conference: Theory and Practice of Pan-Islamic Cooperation (New Delhi: Sterling, 1994).

38. Nehemia Levtzion, International Islamic Solidarity and its Limitations (Jerusalem: Leonard Davis Institute, 1979) p. 22.

39. Sabiha Hasan, 'The Casablanca Islamic Summit", Pakistan Horizon, vol. 37, no. 1, January 1984, pp. 78-80. Incidentally, Zia ul-Haq played an active part when King Hussain of Jordan militarily suppressed the Palestinian rebellion in September 1970 and was decorated for his "services". Ali, n. 12, p. 224n.

40. For instance, see Hamid, n. 21, pp. 141-5; and Nuri, n. 21, pp. 3-5.

41. Moonis Ahmar, "Pakistan and Israel-Distant Adversaries or Neighbours?"Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 20, no. 1, Fall 1996, pp. 31-32.

42. For instance, some Opposition leaders accused President Farooq Leghari of appointing "Jewish agents" in the caretaker government that was sworn in following Ms. Bhutto's dismissal in November 1996. The Nation, November 19, 1996, in FBIS-NES, November 21, 1996.

43. "Let us See Rabin in his True Colours", editorial, The Muslim, November 6, 1995, in FBIS-NES, November 7, 1995, p. 13.

44. For a detailed discussion, see P.R. Kumaraswamy, Behind the Veil: Israel-Pakistan Relations (Tel Aviv: Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies) (forthcoming).

45. The Economist, December 12, 1981, p. 48.

46. G.P.V. Somaratne, "Sri Lanka's Relations with Israel", in Shelton U. Kodikara, ed., External Compulsions of South Asian Politics (New Delhi: Sage, 1993) pp. 194-225.

47. Ms. Benazir Bhutto's interview to Yedi'oth Ahronoth 7 Yamim weekend supplement, January 19, 1996, pp. 44-5. She even admitted Pakistan's appreciation for "restraint" exercised by Israel over the US-Pakistan F-16 controversy and the passing of the Brown Amendment which partially lifted proliferation-related arms embargoes imposed on Islamabad.

48. Al-Wasat, May 13, 1996, in FBIS-NES, May 14, 1996, p. 69.