Islamabad: Pakistan’s paroxysm regarding the middle-east crisis has been revealed. All its frenetic diplomatic efforts and expressions of outrage over the conflict between Palestine and Israel proved to be “ambitious”.
Pakistan took up the issue of Palestine and Israel primarily aimed at domestic audiences and diplomatic dividends that Islamabad imagined will come with its strident advocacy of ‘Islamic’ causes.
Fabien Baussart in a blog in Times of Israel hinted that it appears that Pakistan has miscalculated and overplayed its hand at home and abroad.
Domestically, Prime Minister Imran Khan has got no real political boost by going ballistic over the whole Palestine issue. With absolutely nothing to show for back home, he has latched on to ‘Islamic causes’ – blasphemy against the Prophet, Palestine and Kashmir – to retain his following.
The policy of stridency on the blasphemy issue has seen Pakistan isolated. Worse, the European Union has reacted quite strongly with an almost unanimous resolution passed by the European Parliament against the persecution of religious minorities and misuse of the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan.
The EU is now considering withdrawing the GSP+ concessions given to Pakistani exports, something that will deal a body blow to Pakistan’s failing economy.
The streets of Pakistan are seeing a surge of resentment with the rising inflation and joblessness. To deviate the masses from focussing on the main issue, Imran Khan latched onto Israel-Palestine crisis.
On the Palestine issue, Pakistani overzealousness could have serious adverse consequences. The Army is exasperated with his blundering ways. His own party is imploding. His allies are restive and the Opposition is baying for blood, what with new scandals erupting every day, wrote Fabien Baussart.
Diplomatically, the Pakistani hysterics over Palestine could backfire. At one level, it has exposed Pakistan’s deep-seated anti- Semitism.