Time is changing by Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani

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JUST one week ago, there were restrictions on Israeli flights to pass on from UAE air space and it was impossible to have telephonic interaction from UAE to Israel but today the ground realities have changed in a dramatic way. Currently, discussions are going on between the two countries to operate direct flights from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi and telephonic links have also been established. According to recent media reports, Israel and UAE agreed to collaborate with each other for conducting research on Covid-19. A number of various agreements of bilateral cooperation in different fields including technology, education, culture, economy and tourism are in the pipeline to strengthen diplomatic ties. It is worth mentioning that both countries are considered most modern, advanced and developed countries in the Middle Eastern region.
The strong reaction of Arab world and Muslim countries at the time of establishing Israel was quite natural. A resolution of solidarity with Palestinians was also passed during the historical Jalsa of 23rd March 1940 in Lahore under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam. After the partition, Pakistan started looking at the Arab world to maintain its ideological identity. During this period of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union were confronting each other in every field. Most Arab countries were part of the Soviet bloc, whereas Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel joined the US bloc. According to the Nixon Doctrine, Saudi Arabia and Iran were considered twin pillars for regional security. However, time has changed so rapidly that the Soviet Union has collapsed; Iran is now an opponent of the US and most Arabs are in favour of ties with Israel. In my view, the most important motive behind moving Arabs and Israel closer is the Iran factor.
Historically, UAE came into existence in 1971 and is considered as an important Gulf country who was founded by Sheikh Zaid Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Due to his laudable investor friendly policies, UAE succeeded to transform itself into the strongest economic power of the region. Similarly, the UAE is strongly advocating a modern lifestyle based on tolerance and patience. Last year, the UAE government announced to mark the year 2019 as the Year of Tolerance and in this regard, hosted the World Tolerance Summit which was attended by delegates from across the globe. Being only Pakistani speaker, it was indeed an honour for me to represent my beloved country and expressed my views on the media as the pillar of promoting tolerance and co-existence.
Today, the UAE leadership has proved its firm commitment to seek practical implementation of peace and tolerance for a mutual coexistence. The historic peace agreement between UAE, United States of America and Israel has been named as the Abraham Accord which also reflects the promotion of religious harmony between Muslims, Christians and Jewish people. The recognition of Israel has also divided Muslim world into two blocs. From one side, Iran, Turkey and Palestine are criticizing UAE for establishing diplomatic ties with Israel and on the other side, many Muslim countries, like Oman, Bahrain and Sudan are expected to follow the UAE footsteps. Operating direct flights between UAE and Israel while using Saudi Arabia airspace is also very meaningful.
No doubt, people of Pakistan are also surprised by the dramatic announcement by US President Donald Trump about the “peace deal” between UAE and Israel. However, we must understand that there is no permanent friend or enemy in international relations. Similarly, there is also a famous saying that enemy of enemy is a friend. In my view, the role of Pakistan in coming days would be very important. Being a prominent Muslim country, Pakistan may have to face pressure from both Muslim blocs to follow them. Therefore, there is a need to keep a close eye on recent developments in the region. We should adopt a solid stance in the best interest of Pakistan.”
—The writer, Member National Assembly, is Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan Hindu Council.

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