Pakistan lands in a sticky situation amidst Iran’s dispute? | ThinkEd

Pakistan lands in a sticky situation amidst Iran’s dispute?

1. Iran strikes! And Pakistan stays silent?

It was expected that Pakistan, the only Islamic country with nuclear weapons, would react forcefully to what Palestinian activists refer to as Israeli actions in Gaza. This expectation arose from Pakistan’s dual position as the Organization of Islamic Corporations (OIC) founding member and a leading figure who enjoyed the respect of other OIC members.

Pakistan’s policy toward Israel has mainly been passive which is in contrast to the expectations of many OIC constituents who support Israel’s total removal from Arab lands in the Middle East. As a workable solution to the Palestinian problem, its approach usually focuses on helping a two-state solution instead of actively pursuing more aggressive measures. 

The nuclear-armed nation which has threatened India in the past is at a loss for words as Israel declares its intention to destroy Gaza. With Islam in crisis right now some doubt the veracity of Pakistan’s infamous Islamic Bomb. But Iran, a vocal OIC member and fierce opponent of Israel has long understood that Pakistan’s claim to have an Islamic Bomb is baseless. Some Iranians even assert that Pakistan might not even fully control its nuclear arsenal. 

Also Read: Pakistan calls for ‘utmost restraint’ as Iran launches retaliatory strikes against Israel

Much to anyone’s surprise, Iran’s strike had nothing to do with the atrocities Israel has been making Palestine a subject to. In fact it was a warning sign, that there remain forces that are strong enough to silence Israel.

2. Pakistan is in a difficult spot

Authorities in Pakistan are worried about the possible consequences of an Israeli-Iranian military confrontation believing it might turn into a wider regional war that would affect their nation. They have therefore chosen to proceed cautiously. The Pakistan Foreign Office described the Israeli attacks on the Iranian diplomatic mission in Syria as a major escalation in an already unstable situation. Instead of reacting to Iran’s retaliatory actions with the same fervour as before and taking action against Israel Pakistan is urging moderation and highlighting the significance of diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions.  

The Foreign Office emphasized the critical need to stabilize the situation and bring peace back in a statement released following Irans’ attack. They asked everyone to be extremely cautious and move in the direction of de-escalation. Pakistan is worried about the conflict’s possible effects on its immediate vicinity which is why it is placing so much emphasis on de-escalation.

3. Pakistan is closely watching

Talk show hosts and guests praised Iran’s defiance of Israel inviting officials to offer their perspectives on talk shows and mainstream TV networks. They inflated Israel’s military casualties after the Iranian invasion. Pakistani public opinion is divided on whether to support Irans’ military action against Israel or to send troops directly into the conflict.  

Due to decades of anti-Israel propaganda in Pakistan as well as Israel’s resistance to the creation of a Palestinian state this stance has developed. Pakistan has consistently sided with Iran in its dispute with Israel and refuses to acknowledge Israel.  

The Pakistani government probably moderated its stance towards the Israel-Iran conflict to evade pressure from Western nations. Had Pakistan adopted a more assertive posture endorsing Iranian aggression it might have put its attempts to forge agreements with international lenders such as the IMF and enhance US-Pakistan relations at risk. Beyond this Pakistan worries about possible Israeli strikes close to its borders since it is a nuclear-armed country. Pakistan faces a challenge in the event of an Israeli-Iranian military conflict.  

Pakistan will keep a careful eye on developments between the two nations in the upcoming days. 

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