January 31, 2005


Pakistan, Israel put out feelers (ANWAR IQBAL, Jan. 31, 2005, UPI)

Israel and Pakistan should have "direct, personal contact, publicly, without being ashamed about it," Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres told the Pakistani newspaper Jang.

The exclusive interview last week with a reporter from Jang, which has a large circulation, sparked a militant rampage on the newspaper's offices in Karachi. But Saturday's vandalism did not shock many in Pakistan. Most people had expected some violent reaction from the country's religious extremists soon after Jang published the interview on Friday.

What surprised them most is that less than 30 people participated in the assault in a city of almost 14 million people. Equally surprising for most Pakistanis was the reaction to the attack.

Almost all major political parties, social organizations and media groups condemned the ransacking and the beating of guards trying to protect the office. The condemnation was so strong that Pakistan's main religious alliance, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, was also forced to join the chorus.

Colonel Qaddafi (or, more likely, his son) was the first to figure out that if the Palestinians don't have a quarrel with Israel anymore (and therefore none with the U.S.) there's no percentage in pretending that you do.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 31, 2005 11:29 PM

It's much simpler than that. The Pakistanis read the papers. They know that India and Israel are getting very, very, very close. They also know that if Israeli tactics and technology are joined together with Indian technology and manpower that the next time the ISI decides to sponsor Muslim terrorism in India, that there will be little left of Pakistan but a greasy spot.

They also know that their double-game in Afghanistan hasn't impressed anyone in DC and that their erstwhile friends in the PRC are far more interested in penetrating the American consumer market with all kinds of tchotchkes than in continuing a loser's game in the Subcontinent.

Posted by: Bart at February 1, 2005 10:25 AM