Musharraf: Pakistan will eventually recognize Israel
Pakistani president quoted in Los Angeles Times as saying recognition of Israel at this stage would end any hopes of Pakistan serving as bridge between Muslim world and West
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said that his government will eventually have to recognize Israel, but it would be political suicide to do so today, according to a report published in The Los Angeles Times Wednesday.
The report quoted Musharraf as saying that recognition of Israel would end any hopes of Pakistan serving as bridge between the Muslim world and the West.
According to the LA Times, Musharraf, who addressed the UN General Assembly last week and is currently promoting his new autobiography, said his ‘considerable skills at walking a tightrope’ would not enable him to negotiate the firestorm that recognizing Israel would cause, particularly after its recent attacks on Lebanon.
"We cannot do something that sidelines us from the Muslim world," the newspaper quoted Musharraf as saying.
'If we're not doing enough, I don't know who is'
The report noted that Musharraf said his country would consider formally recognizing Israel only after the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
"It must be done eventually," Musharraf said according to the report. But he reiterated that the Palestinian issue must be resolved comprehensively, calling it a major contributing factor to every conflict in the Middle East.
With regards to Pakistan's stance on fighting terror, the Los Angeles Times noted that Musharraf also touched on the anti-terror fight, saying that his country was largely abandoned by the West in 1989, after playing a key role in ending the Soviet occupation of neighboring Afghanistan.
"Everyone left us high and dry" to deal with 20,000-30,000 mujahedeen fighters holed up in Afghanistan and 4 million refugees who crossed the border into Pakistan," Musharraf said according to the report.
"The mujahedeen coalesced into al-Qaeda," he was quoted as saying.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Musharraf said it was "disappointing" to hear criticism that Pakistan isn't doing enough to fight terrorism.
"If we're not doing enough, I don't know who is," he was quoted as saying.