Pakistan and Israel’s Secret Diplomacy

Last week my article received worldwide noticeable appreciation, which gave me the courage to highlight the same issue with a different perspective. What I argued, was my understanding of the state of Israel and its unofficial diplomatic approach towards state of Pakistan, which also received thousands appreciative comments on social media. I received numerous text messages and emails on my scientific approach. In this article, I layout the evidence, that today or tomorrow, Israel and Pakistan will openly accept each other as friends. The fact of the matter is that how Pakistani governmental and political leaders not only tried to start an open relationship with Israel but secretly visited the country times and again.

These political relations started immediately after the creation of Israel in 1948, when the Prime Minister of Israel David Ben Gurion sent a telegram to the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah to establish diplomatic relations but the Mr Jinnah’s response was very poor. Then in 1953, US diplomats arranged a meeting between Pakistan’s foreign Minister Muhammad Zafarullah Khan and Israel’s ambassador to the US, Abba Eban, but Mr.  Khan told Eban that improved relations between the two states were not on the horizon:

… the Pakistani government does not bear any hatred toward Israel and understands that it is a factor in the Middle East that must be taken into consideration

Mr. Khan said.

In 1993, during the Benazir Bhutto’s state visit to the United States, Director-General of the Pakistan Army’s Directorate-General for the Military Operation (DGMO), Major-General Pervez Musharraf was invited by Bhutto to join her on this state visit. As unusual and unconventional it was for the Director of the Directorate-General of Military Operations (DGMO) to join this trip, Benazir Bhutto and her DGMO had chaired a secret meeting with Israeli officials in New York in 1993, who had especially flown to Washington. Under her guidance, General Musharraf had intensified the ISI’s liaison with Israel’s MOSSAD. A final meeting took place in 1995, and General Musharraf had also joined this meeting with Benazir Bhutto after she ordered General Musharraf to air-dash to New York immediately.

Before returning to Pakistan, Ms Benazir Bhutto sought guaranty of her safety from Israeli Intelligence Agency MOSSAD. Miss Benazir Bhutto, who was in 2008, was assassinated in December 2007. The Hebrew daily newspaper “Ma’ariv” reported Benazir Bhutto had asked Israel’s secret agency, the CIA and Britain’s Scotland Yard, to help protect her in the run-up to Pakistan’s election on January 2008.  In 2007, Pakistan’s People’s Party’s (PPP) high profile leadership visited New York and Washington DC, and then to Tel Aviv. On 07 May 2006, Benazir Bhutto had arranged a Birthday party of the high figure of Israel in a New York’s expensive hotel. The hotel was fully booked that night and the bill was directly paid by the Benazir Bhutto.  The top political personalities travelled from Washington DC and Tel Aviv to attend that party.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Jerusalem Post.

Upon her return to Pakistan two months ago, Bhutto had stopped in London and, through a mutual acquaintance, relayed a message that she would in the future like to strengthen the ties between Israel and Pakistan

Benazir Bhutto later on met the then Israeli President Shimon Peres several times in her life and showed her interest to move forward in relations to recognise Israel. Ms Bhutto promised to Shimon that she would visit Israel upon returning to power. Dan Gillerman, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, told Ynet, an online Israeli news site affiliated with Israel’s daily Yediot Acharonot:

Ms Bhutto admired Israel and of her desire to see a normalization in the relations between Israel and Pakistan, including the establishment of diplomatic ties

the site reported.

On 15 October 1992 Radio Pakistan reported:

In October 1995, Prime Minister Ms. Bhutto ruled out recognition because “the core issues of the Golan Heights and the status of Jerusalem are yet to be resolved

It was not only Ms Bhutto but Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also wished to normalise its diplomatic ties with the state of Israel. He had established many secrete political based coordination with Israel. October 1988, Israeli media reported that President Ezer Weizman had met his Pakistani counterpart Mr. Rafiq Tarar in Ankara during the 75th anniversary of modern Turkey’s independence. Mr. Tarar approached Weizman and shook his hand. “I have heard a great deal about you as a man of peace,” he told Weizman. The two discussed the peace process and the Pakistani President expressed the hope that “one day we will meet again.”…

There are indications that during his first term in office (1990-93), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was keen to re-examine Pakistan’s policy toward Israel and even contemplated recognition and normalisation. A few months after Sharif assumed office, Maulana Ajmal Qadri, chief patron of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (a party that advocates the adoption of a constitution based on Sunni Islamic teachings), visited Israel. Upon returning home, “in the larger interest of Palestine”, he called for Pakistani recognition of Israel. He also advised the Prime Minister that

Pakistan should not fight another’s war (his indication was for Palestinians organisations)

A religious delegation with the special permission of the Prime Minster office visited Israel and spent six days in the state. According to Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv:

In August 1997, the Israeli media reported that a delegation of religious leaders from Pakistan spent a week in Israel. Besides visiting Islamic holy sites, they also met foreign ministry officials and endorsed the idea of promoting Islamic tourism from Pakistan. Notwithstanding, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s then senior aide Sidiq-ul-Farooq gave interview in The Muslim on 29th Sep 1997, where he declared that “there was “no harm” in Pakistan recognizing the Jewish state”.

After the Oslo accords, Pakistan was ready to move forward in recognition of Israel. Pakistani diplomatic officials met Israeli delegations in various parts of the world. Such kind of visit was organised in India, According to the Israeli ambassador in New Delhi that “his country was discussing recognition with Pakistan” it was reported in The Muslim 27th Dec 1997.

Israeli diplomats not only met Pakistani politicians but also visited Pakistan with their foreign passports and their entire visits were to maintain close and open political relations between both Nations. Israel has never left any prime chance to fill the gap with Pakistan. Well-known Jewish organisations were also keen to establish these ties and tried very hard to stable peaceful relations of both countries. In 1993, a representative of the American Jewish committee met with the ambassadors of Pakistan in Washington and the US, not only this BUT the vice President of the World Jewish Organisation Mr Isi Leibler visited Islamabad, Pakistan from February 12 to 16 and foreign ministries of Israel, Australia and the US state department coordinated this visit. Mr Leibler also met a Pakistani politician, Chief Minister (Punjab) and brother of Pakistani Prime Minister, Mr Shahbaz Sharif and the meeting was arranged by Pakistani ambassador Sayyidah Abidah Hussein. At the end of the meeting, the two agreed that further contacts between them would be arranged via Pakistan’s ambassador (high commissioner) in London.

On 16 March 1993, Israel’s vice consul general, Mark Sofer Zaki, planned to arrange a meeting between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in Devos but at that time the plan had fallen through because there were numerous Pakistani journalists in town. A Pakistani Newspaper revealed that in 1993, postal connection were established via a third country, Israeli postal stamps were replaced into Egyptian stamps and then sent all letters to Karachi and from Karachi these letters were sent to Islamabad. Letters from Pakistan to Israel and the territories were sent via London in two envelopes; the address of the postal manager in London appeared on the outer one, the address of the letter’s recipient on the inner one. In an April 1995 visit to Washington, Bhutto was asked at the State Department about Pakistani-Israeli ties. She responded that she was interested in principle but would have to ensure that extremist groups would not use the issue against her.

An Israeli Hebrew Newspaper Ma’ariv’s reported Ben Caspit revealed in 1997 that:

On 6th Feb 1996. Eight Pakistani media journalist visited Israel; it was the first such visit there by Pakistani media. Although he further claimed that the journalists did not come as an official delegation, behind the scenes there was a Pakistani political actor who arranged this visit. The Pakistani political leader was cautiously exhibiting interest in relations with Israel

A confirmed report noted that in 1997, an Israeli businessman and Intelligence officer Yaakov Nimrodi had visited Pakistan and met with the Pakistan’s foreign minister and PML (N) leader Gohar Ayub Khan who encouraged him to launch commercial endeavours between the two countries. He showed his interest in telecommunication, establishing a medical centre, various agricultural issues and encouraging religious-based tourism.

According to the US report:

Pakistani politicians (PPP & PML-N) transfer their million dollars, bought Israeli Bonds and invested their wealth in Israeli bonds in the US, by doing so, they strengthened Israeli economy

According to the US law, only American Israeli can buy these bonds and Israeli American businessmen helped those Pakistan’s politicians investing in Israeli bonds in the US” There were many more hidden connections and meetings between Pakistani Army generals and Israeli generals, between ISI officials and Mossad official in various countries to work together in making good and mutual relations. Bringing these two nations, with all their differences and similarities to each other, can only result in a Win-Win outcome, not only for each of them but a benefit to all in a much wider world context. It is a right time for Pakistan to announce officially the state of Israel as a good friend and ally and deliver the most powerful and positive diplomatic message to the international community that Pakistani nation is the most tolerant nations.

About the Author
Mr. Noor Dahri is the Founder and Executive Director of Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism- ITCT, a UK based Counter Islamist Terrorism Think Tank. Noor was born and raised in Pakistan. Noor Dahri has also worked with the London Police department for the last seven years. He has studied Forensics and Criminal Psychology from Oxford – UK and Counter Terrorism from International Institute for Counter Terrorism ICT- Israel. He is an author of "Terra Nullius: The Rebirth of a Land Without Peace"