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Posted: 9/1/2005 11:35:05 AM EDT
I read the stories, get some StratFor and Janes reports, and I still don't understand the 'why'.....


Hamas leader: Pakistan stabbing Palestinians in the back
By News Agencies and Haaretz Service

In an historic breakthrough heavily criticized by Palestinian figures, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met with his Pakistani counterpart Khursheed Kasuri on Thursday in Turkey for the first publicly acknowledged high-level talks between the two countries, only two weeks after Israel carried out the disengagement plan.

"Pakistan attaches great importance to Israel ending its occupation of Gaza. Pakistan has therefore decided to engage Israel," Kasuri said. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom called the meeting a "major breakthrough."

However, Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Sha'ath said it was premature to offer diplomatic "gifts" to Israel. Hamas leader Khaled Mashal went further and accused Pakistan of "stabbing the Palestinian people in the back."

Pakistan's main Islamic opposition party also denounced the country's decision to begin diplomatic engagement with Israel, and said it would hang out black flags in a day of protest against the move.

Following the Istanbul meeting, Shalom said that he hoped to open new channels of dialogue with the Muslim world and that the meeting would lead to full diplomatic ties with Pakistan. "I am sure that this meeting will be followed by more meetings in the future," Shalom said. "We hope that finally it will lead to full diplomatic relations with Pakistan as we would like with all Muslim and Arab countries.

"I think there was a major breakthrough today in the relations between us and Pakistan," Shalom told Israel Radio.

"Of course, we ultimately want diplomatic relations, but we decided that from now on, the relations will be open, the relations will be good," he said. "Pakistan, as the second largest Muslim country after Indonesia, undoubtedly has great importance."

Musharraf keeps cool
But meanwhile, Pakistan's President General Perves Musharraf stressed that his country will not recognize Israel before the establishment of a Palestinian state.

"We will not talk about recognition of Israel until a Palestinian state is established and then we will think about it. We will take people along. This is indirect contact," the president told a meeting of regional leaders in Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta.

Shalom praised Musharraf, for initiating the meeting, and said the Pakistanis had informed the Palestinians about it. Shalom also said that ties with Pakistan, which has long taken a hard line against Israel, have no bearing on the "good relations" Israel has with India.

Israel has diplomatic relations with only four Muslim countries - Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Mauritania - and limited interest or trade missions with Morocco, Tunisia and Qatar. Down the decades it has had on-and-off contacts with Pakistan through backdoor channels.

The meeting was expected to be followed by confidence-building measures, such as a relaxation of Pakistan's ban against travel to Israel, an Israeli official said. Shalom said he and Kasuri had decided to take several diplomatic steps that are still in the initial stages. He refused to elaborate, but suggested that the countries may begin by sending ministerial delegations.

"There is no conflict whatsoever between Israel and Pakistan and no logical reason why the two countries could not have a constructive and positive bilateral relationship," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said in Jerusalem.

Shalom and Kasuri informally met Wednesday night at a dinner in Istanbul, Israeli officials said.

The meeting was held at the Four Seasons Hotel, a former Ottoman prison, not far from Topkapi Palace. Security was extremely tight with Turkish and Israeli security officials searching bags and even disassembling photographers' cameras.

Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington and a foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said Israel would welcome relations with Islamabad, and has been quietly working toward that goal.

"There have been contacts on different levels with Pakistani officials for several years," Shoval told The Associated Press. "Even I myself had contacts with the Pakistani ambassador during my tenure in Washington and I always heard the willingness and desire to establish relations at the right moment," he said.

"Israel is of course interested in widening its official diplomatic relations with as many countries as possible and especially Muslim countries."

In Islamabad, the Dawn newspaper said Shalom and Kasuri were meeting "in response to Israel's keenness to establish contact with Pakistan."

Musharraf, a key U.S. ally in the Indian subcontinent, has been gradually moving toward conciliation with Israel, despite the influence of a powerful Islamic radical party in Pakistan.

The Pakistani president accepted an invitation to address an interfaith conference this month organized by the Council for World Jewry while he is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

The Arabic-language television station al-Jazeera quoted Musharraf as calling Sharon a "great soldier and courageous leader" after announcing his plan to end Israel's occupation of Gaza. Pakistan says Israel must abandon all other territory it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and clear the way for an independent Palestinian state.

Sporadic articles in the Pakistani press also have appeared in recent years urging a reassessment of Pakistan's refusal to consider diplomatic relations with Israel.

Pakistan does absolutely nothing unless a) the US says 'do it or else we'll do it for you' (e.g. 'do it' doesn't work, 'do it or else' doesn't work either, 'do it or we'll do it for you and say you did it' does work!) or b) it somehow hurts india.

I'm leaning towards "b" for obvious reasons, e.g. Israel's new close ties to India's defense structure, and also cause don't see how it's in the US interest to have Pakistan go out on this ledge like this. The implications for Musharraf are dire, and have to be REALLY worth it for him.

Any thoughts?
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 11:42:06 AM EDT
What does Musharraf have to lose? Al-Qaeda and various other opposition groups in Pakistan are constantly trying to kill him.

BTW, I didn't know Pakistan was the second-largest Muslim country.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 1:54:33 PM EDT
The Isrealies will sell to just about anyone anywhere. Lets face it, teh Arab world forgot about the Palestinans after 73' and haven't really looked back.

The real axis of evil is Saudia Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Money, recruits, and training ground for Islamic assholes.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 2:44:36 PM EDT
The Palestinians are like lepers. Even their Arab neighbors don't want them because they're no good. The Jordanians had to put down a Palestinian uprising by military force after the "refugees" led by Araflat attempted a coup within Jordanian territory years ago. Ever wonder why there aren't large-scale populations of Palestinians in Arab countries? That's why.

The Pakistanis aren't dumb, they want the best equipment so they shop from The Great Satan USA and the Evil Jews. They know the Israelis have excellent engineers and can help them upgrade their weapons to maintain parity with India. The Pakistanis are buying US F-16's from the money their IT industry makes and they will probably shop for Israeli upgrades for those F-16's.

So as you can see, the good 'ole USA always gets a cut of the action. There's nothing like selling weaponry to poor desperate people for profit! And if our "allies" turn on us, then we take 'em out like we did with Noriega and Saddam. The only thing left is for the Russians and Chinese to buy their weapons from us and the US will be more than a lone Superpower, we'll be the lone Supersupplier too!
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:19:56 PM EDT
I just got my stratfor intel brief on this. Quesiton answered. hehehehehe.
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 5:52:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
US will be more than a lone Superpower, we'll be the lone Supersupplier too!

You suck stupid country! No Guns for You!
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 8:18:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
You suck stupid country! No Guns for You!

Yep, that's the idea! We're going to "Wal-Martize" the nations of the world by controlling the distribution channels of arms.

We're selling these to Pakistan.

They want the Jewish upgrades. Israel sends engineers to TX for their version of the F-16.

Thanks to the USA, Pakistani Muslims and Israeli Jews are sitting down for business.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 8:37:43 AM EDT
i think the Israelis are just trying to stir up shit in the Arab world, they all get pissed off at each other
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