Why Nuclear-Armed Pakistan Remains Silent Spectator Of Israeli “Aggression” In The Middle-East?

Being the only Islamic country in possession of nuclear weapons, Pakistan was supposed to react rather vigorously to what the pro-Palestinians call Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The expectation was also high because Pakistan is not only the founding father of the OIC but also its principal member, commanding the respect of other members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

But contrary to the expectations of a majority of OIC members, who seek outright effacement of the Jewish state from the map of Arab lands in the Middle East, Pakistan has generally adopted a passive stance with respect to its Israel-related policy, typically confining to a subdued demand for two-state option as a viable solution to the Palestinian conundrum.

The nuclear-armed country that has been threatening India with Nukes has been tongue-tied when Israel declares it won’t stop short of destroying Gaza lock, stock, and barrel. People ask where is Pakistan’s much-trumpeted “Islamic Bomb” while Islam is faced with a grave challenge.

But Iran, as an active member of the OIC and vociferously anti-Israel, had understood long back that Pakistan’s claim of an “Islamic Bomb” was only a hoax without substance or, to be too frank as Iranians think, is not in actual control of the device.

Perhaps this is the reason why Iran has been frantically pursuing to attain nuclear capability, which Israel is determined to stonewall as long as it can.

Curiously, while Israel has been keen on disabling Iranian nuclear capability and earlier did destroy Iraq and Syria’s nuclear pursuit, it never threatened Pakistan with any punitive action when Islamabad was very close to producing the bomb. Even the US, too, had turned its eye away from Pakistan’s nuclear program.

This clearly shows that Pakistan’s nuclear trajectory is India-oriented, with a green signal both from Washington and Tel Aviv.

It is no surprise to lend credence to strategic interaction like this. India had to conduct the Pokhran test with the highest imaginable secrecy and confidentiality. That pre-requisite was not in place for Pakistan’s maiden nuclear test.

Pakistan-Israel Relations

They have a close understanding between them, little known to the world outside and less to the OIC members.

The Middle East Monitor of August 3, 2023, carried a piece titled’ Pakistan Intelligence using Israel Spyware’ that asserts that Pakistani intelligence agencies are using Israeli spyware.

Israeli media earlier claimed that “Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency and various police units in the country have been using products produced by the Israeli cyber technology firm Cellebrite since at least 2012.”

The bizarre part of the story is that Pakistan has no diplomatic ties with Israel. The Haartez paper claimed that the software was purchased in Singapore. Cellebrite software allows law enforcement agencies to engage in digital forensic work by hacking into password-protected cell phones and copying all the stored information.

The Middle East Monitor raises the question of whether spyware should be sold to oppressive regimes in countries where even human rights organizations are stifled.

Not Only Pakistan

Coming back to Pak-Israel relations, it is to be said that Pakistan is not the only Muslim country for which Israel is not a pariah; there are others as well among the bogus OIC that have kept overt or covert channels open for interaction with Israel.

The prime example of such normalization with the Jewish State is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The kingdom was reluctant belligerent in the 1967 six-day war.

“Ahead of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the Jordanian king was helicoptered to a Mossad building outside Tel Aviv, along with his prime minister Ziad Rifai, where he informed Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Golda Meir of Syria’s planned offensive and Egyptian support”, reported the Middle East Monitor in its issue of 15 April.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one independent Jordanian observer revealed to MEM that “Iran is the enemy, not Israel.”

Hamas War Derails Normalization.

Before the 7th October attack on Israel that caused the death of about 1200 Israelis and the captivity of hundreds of men, women, and children at the hands of Hamas barbarians, silent activity was going on at various levels and individuals for normalization of Arab-Israel relations.

UAE and Bahrain had already initiated an exchange of officials with Israel in 2020, and the Saudi Kingdom, under the leadership of Crown Prince Salman, was also conducting parleys through emissaries for that purpose.

In the South Asian country of Pakistan, a debate had intermittently flared up in national mainstream television channels and social media platforms about whether Islamabad should reconsider its stand on Israel.

The two countries have been holding secret meetings on security-related issues since their foreign ministers met publicly in 2005. The discourse gained momentum in March this year when one Fishel Benkhalid, a Pakistani Jew in the city of Karachi, revealed via his social media platform that he had successfully exported his first kosher food shipment to Jerusalem and Haifa.

Pakistani officials said that export had taken place through a third country and was Benkhalid’s initiative and did not signal any intention of the state of trade relations with Israel. The Hamas war derailed the efforts of normalization.

Malaya Lodhi, a former Pakistani ambassador to the UN, said that time was not ripe for conducting talks on the subject. She said, “Pakistan has been a steadfast supporter of the Palestinian cause. It would want to see a de-escalation of the conflict.“

Israeli Air Force
File Image


Pakistan has strong ties with the Saudi kingdom. When the flames of Middle East fighting die down, Saudi Arabia will revive its mission of normalizing relations with Israel, which, in turn, will encourage it to throw off the mask and come out in the open to establish normal relations with Israel.

In that situation, Pakistan will have to handle extreme rightist segments at home. Moreover, Pakistan needs to mend the fence with the US and the EU to come out of the isolation caused by its long fraternizing policy with the religious extremists.

Normalization of relations with Israel and open trade and commerce, as well as in various technologies, would give some credibility to Pakistan as a legitimate peace-loving country.