Pakistan fears over deepening India-Israel ties post Modi visit

| Updated: Jul 06, 2017 01:29 IST

Lahore [Pakistan], July 5 (ANI): Closely watching Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel and unprecedented warm welcome extended to him, Pakistani analysts fear that growing defence cooperation between India and Israel would disturb strategic balance in the South Asian region with direct bearing on Pakistan. The tensions between India and Pakistan is an all time high and Israel assistance at this juncture can propel "India's missile programme, something that would undermine Pakistan's policy of maintaining credible deterrence," said a Pakistani defence expert. Former diplomats and defence analysts are of the view that the visit of the Indian prime minister would further deepen defence and military ties between the two countries. "India got access to some of the most modern defence technologies of America through Israel," Pakistan Tribune quoted Pakistan defence analyst Lt-Gen (retd) Amjad Shoaib as saying. Analysts have advocated maintaining working relationship with Israel, if not establishing full diplomatic ties, in order to further and protect Pakistan's interests. Israel has long been a major supplier of arms and other defence equipment to India and those deals have deliberately been kept secret by the two sides. However, the two countries are now more open and publicly talk about their deepening defence cooperation. In 2005, during former president Pervez Musharraf's tenure, Pakistan and Israel established contacts and even foreign ministers of the two countries met in Turkey. However, things could not make headway further after that. For Gen Shoaib, there is a lesson for Pakistan in the ever-growing close relationship between Israel and India. "If India can cement ties with Israel while at the same time maintaining diplomatic ties with its enemy Iran, why can't Pakistan also show flexibility in its foreign policy," defence analyst Lt-Gen (retd) Amjad Shoaib argued Modi, is first Indian Prime Minister visiting the country of Jews, which is being dubbed as 'historic' and 'landmark' by both the governments. Israel is known for possessing world class weapons. Israel receives a lot of assistance from the US and Germany to build up its arsenal. But they have a very strong local defence industry and improve their weapons continuously with new additions thus establishing a high-quality weaponry system and formidable military in the region. Pakistan military, spy agency ISI and terror outfits are concerned about the kind of deals that India and Israel are signing and the talks PM Modi and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is holding as Modi has made terrorism a focal subject in every foreign country tour and this time again both Modi and Netanyahu reiterated that "India and Israel has been a victim of terrorism and the epicenter of terrorism is Pakistan." Aware of the wider strategic implications for the region arising out of a close partnership between India and Israel, and also understanding the meaning of both countries talking about joining hands against terrorism, Pakistan media says, "One of the subjects on which the Indian media has created a lot of hype is the threat emanating from terrorism. It has worked hard to relate terrorism with Pakistan and blame it for virtually any terror incident occurring anywhere in India. One TV anchor opened a talk show on Modi's visit by claiming that: "India is a victim of terrorism. Israel is a victim of terrorism and the epicentre of terrorism is Pakistan." Modi, before leaving for Tel Aviv, told an Israeli newspaper that terrorism was a common challenge and said New Delhi and Tel Aviv 'can cooperate even more closely' in battling it. (ANI)