Israel and Pakistan

Published: September 1, 2012
The writer is Director South Asian Media School, Lahore

The writer is Director South Asian Media School, Lahore

CNN host Christiane Amanpour talked to former Israeli foreign minister Ms Tzipi Livni on August 10, 2012 on Israel going religious. Amanpour asked why she had resigned from the centrist opposition Kadima Party and left the Israeli parliament in May 2012. Ms Livni accused the ultraorthodox elements of Israel of wielding more power than they should. She thought other parties gave the monopoly on the Jewishness of the state of Israel to the rabbis. She attacked Likud chief and prime minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu for kowtowing to the ultraorthodox.

The ultraorthodox Jews, she said, believed that the sole source of authority was not the law or the Supreme Court but the Halakha, the Torah, the rabbi. She believed that Israel “needed a constitution and a clear definition of what the Jewish state really is”. She said: “The meaning of a Jewish state is from a national perspective, not a religious one. And we need to define this in a constitution”.

Pakistanis believe that Pakistan and Israel are the only two states which came into being in the name of religion. They imply that Israel is a religious state. Insofar as the Pakistan Movement in British India and Zionism in Europe were born in a secular environment, the comparison between Zionist founder Theodor Herzl and founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah is valid.

Herzl was rejected by the rabbis of Europe and Russia; so was Jinnah by the dominant religious parties of India. If Jinnah created Pakistan for Muslims of India, then his struggle is comparable to Herzl’s Zionist struggle for the creation of a homeland for the Jews.

Are both religious states? Today, ‘officially’, Jinnah created Pakistan for Islam. This doesn’t jibe with Herzl’s Zionism. After 1948, Israel was ruled by socialist Ben Gurion and his Mapai Party which later became the Labour Party. Jinnah announced, in September 1947, that Pakistan would be a secular state. In this, he can be compared to Ben Gurion, who declared Israel a secular liberal democracy in 1948.

But former prime minister Ben Gurion should actually be compared to prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan and here the comparison becomes invalid. In 1949, Liaquat Ali Khan tabled the Objectives Resolution and termed the Holy Quran and Sunnah the founding principles of the state. Ben Gurion stuck to the Declaration of Independence which said that Israel would be secular.

Because of the quarrel over religion, the Israeli constitution could never be made. A theocratic Israeli state could not be accommodated because of Western objection and the dominant Ashkenazim opposition.

But there are ‘negative’ similarities. Israel began by ethnically cleansing the non-Jews. Then, it failed to negotiate a social contract with the residual Palestinian Arabs in Israel. Two million people were driven out and Ben Gurion failed to negotiate his democracy with the one million Arabs left behind. Pakistan and India ethnically cleansed a mass of population from both sides.

The Objectives Resolution of 1949 gave full rights to the minorities. The Declaration of Independence of Israel promised “full rights to all citizens without distinction of race, creed or sex”.

Israel never declared martial law like Pakistan but it put the Arab territories under military rule which denied fundamental rights to the Arabs. Pakistan’s martial laws denied fundamental rights to all Pakistanis.

Pakistan’s religious parties are given extra-electoral power by the politics of sharia and jihad. The ultraorthodox rabbis in Israel have the same kind of leverage. Both Israel and Pakistan are ‘security states’. Many Israeli prime ministers have been ex-generals. Pakistani generals also rule Pakistan. Both have been protégés of the West during the Cold War.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (79)

  • ayesha azeem
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:29PM

    Israel > Pakistan(in all respects) :(


  • Ahsan Mlk
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:34PM

    Not a balanced comparison I must say. However, fortunately or unfortunately, many aspects do match up.
    Pakistan was never destined to be ‘secular’ (if secular = atheist views). The whole movement for Pakistan’s creation began as rights for a religious sect: Muslims. Thus the state born out of that movement cannot be not-aligned-to-religion.
    Besides, all that ‘secularism’ projects is already incorporated into the true, basic Islamic values of peace, harmony, co-existence, respect for human life & dignity and tolerance for all faiths.


  • lalai
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:36PM

    Despite the said similarities, I think the ultraorthodox rabbis will never match the brutalities of Taliban. They are the mindless beasts straight out of stone age.


  • Prabhat Pal
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:38PM

    Israel respects Albert Einstein, Pakistan respects Agha Waqar (and worse still, hates Abdus Salam).


  • bilal
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:40PM

    this is an incomplete and skewed comparison between the two states, what about:
    – the extreme sense of responsibilty towards its people?
    – what about israel being a secular state inspite of it being a security state
    – what about the israeli security forces committment to its constitution and the betterment of the social indicators of its people etc etc
    khaled sahib you have a lot of bookish knowledge but your analyses are either biased or just lack competence
    but please keep writing..Recommend

  • Shailendra
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:43PM

    How Israel does not have non state actors… Pakistan has…
    Israel has largest VC investment…. Pakistan has zero.Recommend

  • no one
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:55PM

    There is one fundamental difference between Israel & Pakistan.
    Israel came in to existence because countries around the world were turning away Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust.
    Pakistan came in to existence because of Two Nation according to which Indian Hindus and Muslims are two distinct nationalities.This theory has failed since long as evident.
    The name Israel has historically been used, in common and religious usage, to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel or the entire Jewish nation.
    History of Pakistan is different.Pakistanis are Muslim because of Arab invaders.


  • BlackJack
    Sep 1, 2012 - 10:55PM

    I respect Khaled sb but feel that he has taken this comparison too far. It is true that both Pakistan and Israel were created as homelands for specific religious groups and have deplorable human rights records – although
    1. Israel was a homeland for Jews who had nowhere else to go, while Pakistan was for muslims of India who could no longer rule the majority Hindu population as they felt they were entitled to;
    2. For Israelis, their country is the promised land – they focused on building a life for their people and today have the highest per capital income in the Middle East; for Pakistanis, their nation remains but a temporary sojourn in the battle towards regaining the rest of India and planting a green flag atop the red fort; their entire rationale can only be explained as a non-India. They focused on trying to destroy India at the expense of their own future.
    3. Israel has never expressed any desire to acquire any land outside its 1948 territory, and all gains were foisted upon it during wars that were not of its making. Pakistan is still more worried about Kashmir than Balochistan, N Waziristan, FATA and the other million fires that are alight, and has managed to lose half the country in the process.
    4. Israel’s existential threat did not disappear after statehood – it has only been attacked by its neighbors and won all the wars; Pakistan chose to remain in existential purgatory for its entire existence to justify enmity with India and absolute power for the armed forces, and started all four wars with India which it lost.
    5. Finally, no Jews are killing Jews in Israel – the religious rhetoric from the rabbis apparently does not condone murder. They apparently don’t need a blasphemy law either although their minorities are more numerous than Pakistan’s.


  • Ahsan
    Sep 1, 2012 - 11:08PM

    Forgot to write about Iaraeli minister who speaks against Pakistan…. No Similarities between Israel and Pakistan… but the one.. They hate us and we Hate them…


  • Sep 1, 2012 - 11:08PM

    We defeated Israel 3 times, India 4 times, America 2 times and Russia 1 time. You should mention that as well.


  • DevilHunterX
    Sep 1, 2012 - 11:17PM

    Israel have technology, we have rocks.


  • Sayyed Mehdi
    Sep 1, 2012 - 11:28PM

    @Ahsan Mlk

    Pakistan was never destined to be ‘secular’ (if secular = atheist views).

    No, that’s not what “secular” means when being used to describe a state. A secular state is one that doesn’t favour or impose any particular religion.

    all that ‘secularism’ projects is already incorporated into the true, basic Islamic values of peace

    Could you enlighten me on that? Islamic law explicitly sets aside non-muslims and further taxes them (Jizya – which is more than the Zakat Muslims pay) in the name of “protection” … How is that secular?


  • Raw is War
    Sep 1, 2012 - 11:36PM

    In Israel, minorities have equal rights and lead quality life- unlike in Pakistan.


  • Roy
    Sep 1, 2012 - 11:37PM

    Very poor comparision. Israel was made as a homeland for Jews all over the world, because of the brutal persecution that the Jews suffered under Hitler in Europe. Pakistan was created as a country for Indian muslims, who were anything but persecuted. Israel is a democracy with strong liberal secular values and in the top league of nations when it comes to manufacturing & exporting high technology. Pakistan has had an atrocious record on democracy with little or no secular ethos to boast of. Israel can be better compared with Taiwan & Pakistan can be better compared with North Korea.Recommend

  • zeeshan sheikh
    Sep 1, 2012 - 11:38PM

    Ok another article and comments bashing Islam and Pakistan. I am stepping one back from liberals and stepping one step closer to conservatives and eventually to extremists.

    Pakistani liberals be sensible or you will regret that.


  • Tariq Mehmood
    Sep 1, 2012 - 11:50PM

    @Zaid Hamid:
    great, to hear from you as always. thx for candid views and across the borad “Dhunai” of this aimless newspaper and its writers.


  • PakArmySoldier
    Sep 1, 2012 - 11:59PM

    Regardless of how dissimilar they’re from an economic stand point, I have trying to establish a linkage between Pakistan and Israel for quite a while. Another similarity is that both states face an existential threat from its neighbors. Israel from its hostile Arab neighbors, and Pakistan from India. This is primarily why both states are ‘security states’.


  • Khurram Sher
    Sep 2, 2012 - 12:00AM

    @ Mr BlackJack
    Israel was a homeland for Jews who had nowhere else to go, while Pakistan was for muslims of India who could no longer rule the majority Hindu population as they felt they were entitled to;
    Please get your facts right, jews had nowhere else to go?? You mean to say that it was their rightful place in history.. The “promised land”.. By whom, may I ask.. And they are SECULAR… Good! You are very logical in your reasoning.
    Israel has never expressed any desire to acquire any land outside its 1948 territory, and all gains were foisted upon it during wars that were not of its making
    Please don’t tell me you are a Jew yourself.. As I cannot think of any other explanation for your skewed versions of history.


  • wise counsel
    Sep 2, 2012 - 12:10AM

    Has India ever initiated any wars?The existential threat is non existential and just a figment of imagination as pakistan is always on guard because of its own aggression.India has always been a defender of its territories and not a ursurper .


  • Riaz Khan
    Sep 2, 2012 - 12:29AM

    Excellent article for those who have the knowledge of history! Others would just wonder.


  • mystreeman
    Sep 2, 2012 - 12:31AM

    @DevilHunterX: Do not mention rocks in the discussion on Israel; rocks remind them of intefada and their exposure to the world as brutal occupiers of the land of Palestine.


  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Sep 2, 2012 - 12:32AM

    You are omitting important fact in comparison between Pakistan and Israel. Both societies have have ultraorthodox militant extremist groups. Most of Israelis though they place importance to their identity as Jews are nonconformists in religion and are secular in there outlook.As a matter of fact the Orthodox jews are looked down upon by majority of Israeli population who are seen as army draft evaders and state welfare dependents


  • Arifq
    Sep 2, 2012 - 12:33AM

    Khaled Sahib, I agree with the gist of your message but have some observations:

    Like Israel, Pakistan was made for Muslims but unlike Israel which is willing to accept Jews from anywhere in the world (Falasha tribe from Sudan) irrespective of their race of ethnicity, Pakistan closed its doors to its own citizens in 1971 by not accepting 250,000 Pakistani/Bengali/Bihari refugees.
    Unlike Pakistan, State of Israel has not engaged in mass murder of its Jewish populace simply because they have differed in their political opinions.
    State of Israel does not discriminate people based on their Jewishness whereas Pakistan constitution clearly warrants leaders to be good Muslims.
    Israel is considered to be a pioneer in technology and its development, we on the other hand are left with water kit dramas.

    Gist of the message is loud and clear for those who want to listen, many thanks Khaled Sahib.


  • Sexton Blake
    Sep 2, 2012 - 12:39AM

    Dear Blackjack,
    For once words fail me. I do not know what I can say in reply to your ridiculous missive. However, I can safely say that I refute everything you say.


  • Sep 2, 2012 - 12:56AM

    Very insightful, much warranted, however it falls short of the much needed support for recognition of Israel. We have much to gain from it. If Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt, the Central Asian Republics recognize Israel then why shouldn’t we as well. Musharaff met Ariel Sharon, BB met Shimon Peres, then why shouldn’t we engage them? Our greatest enemy are those who fund jihadi suicide bombers adhering to Salafast corruption, enough said!Recommend

  • Tauseef J. Shah
    Sep 2, 2012 - 1:03AM

    @Prabhat Pal: I totally agree. History is long forgotten, just like today Bin-Qasim is “Hero” and so is “Bullay Shah”. However, Bullay Shah is saying in one of his nazam “Jo khaya pehna wo apka, baaqi jo reh gaya o Bin-Qasim utha ke le jayega”. So we have to choose a side now. which side are we? Bin qasim or Bullay shah. similarly, Abdul Salam or Raja xyz.

    I wish I happen to see a prosperous Pakistan in my life time.


  • Vikas
    Sep 2, 2012 - 1:24AM

    Comparison between Israel and Pakistan is one between horse and a pony. Israel has given far far more noble laureate than whole of muslim Ummah combined in their existence.


  • KSU
    Sep 2, 2012 - 1:25AM

    How did they gain the 1948 territory? I believe by snatching it from the Palestinians.
    Jews in Israel have murdered their Prime minister so they do occasionally murder each other …….but they have enough on their hands killing Arabs. Memories are so short. There are 2-3 million refugee scattered all over over the world and can’t return to their lands because of Israel.All the money and high tech doesn’t justify that.

    Lebanon has been invaded 3 times since 1967. Who says Israel does not have agressive intentions towards its neighbors?

    Israel is not secular. It is not a secular state in the classic sense. Religious law prevails in a number of matters also who can marry who.The head of State is always a Jew etc. etc. Israel is not a normal state and never will be. All jews also those who are citizens of other nations have the right to Israeli nationality. This is unique.

    I don’t agree with Khalid Ahmed’s article it is a superficial comparison at best. The idea of Israel had powerful backers (UK, France, European jewry, some who had bankrolled the war effort). But they used terrorists to get the British and Arabs cleansed from Palestine.

    Pakistan came into existence against all odds. They had no powerful backers, no superpowers, no money, and the prospects of the least developed parts of British Indian Empire.


  • Dr V. C. Bhutani
    Sep 2, 2012 - 2:07AM

    Mr Khaled Ahmed often leaves me cold with his presentations. He succeeded this time too. Just look at the sheer audacity of the following statement: “Pakistan and India ethnically cleansed a mass of population from both sides.” This is just not true. Everybody knows by now that in Pakistan Hindus and Sikhs were as much as 20% of the population in 1947: they are 2% now, and they are leaving Pakistan by the droves. On the other hand, the number of Muslims in India has increased since 1947, and no Indian Muslim today wants to leave India. The author should have some regard for facts. Besides, in India anti-minorities attitude is an aberration: in Pakistan anti-minorities attitude is the norm. V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 2 Sep 2012, 0235 IST


  • Xcaret
    Sep 2, 2012 - 2:07AM

    @Khurram Sher:
    Sir, I think your version of history is the right one./s


  • Waqar
    Sep 2, 2012 - 2:08AM

    From the comments, seems like there are more Israelis reading this than Pakistanis, makes me think if some cyber soldiers have been deputed for information war!!!! seriously, Israel is the most brutal and discriminatory state in the world and ppl are all praise for them in this forum??? defies belief!!


  • qzj00
    Sep 2, 2012 - 3:08AM

    @Ahsan Mlk:

    Your comment that “all that ‘secularism’ projects is already incorporated into the true, basic Islamic values of . . .” is true. And, I am sure that you are aware that it is also incorporated in the values of many other religions. Yet, that does not negate the fact that religion and secularism are essentially two different ideologies. You can either follow secularism or follow a religion, but not both!

    Look up in any dictionary and you will find that the assumption “if secular = atheist views” is categorically false . . . . and, unfortunately, your whole write-up is essentially based on this false assumption!


  • Babloo
    Sep 2, 2012 - 3:38AM

    The author needs to correct one of his observations.
    Pakistan did ‘religious cleansing’ thats how population of Hindus have fallen from 20% to 1-2%.
    India did not. Thats why muslims now make 14% of Indian population, up from 12% in 1947.
    That single fact, differentiates India and Pakistan, more than any other thing.


  • Awais
    Sep 2, 2012 - 4:26AM

    @Sayyed Mehdi:

    It is secular because it does not force non-Muslims to accept Islam. Non-Muslims, in Islamic law, are NOT required to enroll in Military whereas Muslims have obligation to join Military in case when state declares war.

    Judiciary, under Islamic law, has to be neutral irrespective of religion. Non-Muslims can be Qazis (judges) in Islam if they are qualified in Islamic law. The qualification to be judge is same for both Muslims & non-Muslims.

    Jizya, is nover determined. In the islamic laws, different amount of jizya can be found in history depending on the circumstances. There is no other tax for non-Muslims except Jizya and can be lower or higher than zakat. Zakat, however, is fixed and can be way too much for rich Muslims if you know how it is calculated.

    There are many other reasons why a Islam is secular. When Islam was established in the time of the four rightly guided caliphs, non-Muslims preferred to be under Islamic empire than under Roman or Persian empire.


  • Adil
    Sep 2, 2012 - 4:37AM


    Israel has never expressed any desire to acquire any land outside its 1948 territory, and all gains were foisted upon it during wars that were not of its making. Pakistan is still more worried about Kashmir than Balochistan, N Waziristan, FATA and the other million fires that are alight, and has managed to lose half the country in the process.

    Kindly check the following link for your information.

    Plus,if United States and its European allies were so concerned about the rehabilitation of Jews post World War 2 then how come they never had enough room for their settlement?Nazis were gone and so who were the next anti-Semitic afterwards?Instead they came up with an agenda to ruin lives of Palestinians. Why should Palestinians and Arabs suffer for the crime that they didn’t even commit? I live in Canada and have met a number of Palestinians,Jordans,Lebanese and Syrians.Majority of them talk about their relatives getting killed or their ancestral homes getting bombed by Israelis.Just few weeks back I met this Palestinian shopkeeper and he told me how his beautiful land was snatched and his people continue to suffer till date.I still remember sadness and sorrow over his face when he talked about how Palestininas got backstabbed and lost their lands and rights.


  • 1984
    Sep 2, 2012 - 4:47AM

    It should be noted that both Gandhi and Jinnah opposed the creation of Israel,but for different reasons…
    Gandhi opposed it because it reminded him of apartheid in South Africa…The creation of a state for Jews actually impled that the European countries couldn’t assure their minorities of any further mistreatment and wanted to get rid of them to prevent any more headaches….

    Jinnah opposed just because It was a Jewish state formed in the middle of a muslim area,whereas he did exactly the same thing by creating a muslim state out of a predominant Hindu area…

    But,you should really commend the efforts of the Jews….Imagine 6 million of them thrown into the middle of a desert which has no mineral wealth especially no oil and very less water and surrounded by hostile muslim countries and they have grown to be a very prosperous economy and produced many Nobel laureates…whereas both India and Pakistan couldnt capitalize on your resources and talented workforce


  • Robert Cohen
    Sep 2, 2012 - 5:14AM

    The largest tribe in Pakistan and
    Afghanistan is said to be
    the Pashtun.

    Is there anything (truth)
    to an ironical theory?

    An ancient Hebrew “lost tribe”
    MAY be part of the origin of the Pashtun
    because archaeologists/anthropologists
    have noted similarities … (some objects?).


  • Kamran
    Sep 2, 2012 - 6:09AM

    Pakistan came into existence as subcontinent was divided into India and Pakistan, Israel has been a disputed territory with Arabs, Pakistan has history of recognized freedom movement for creation of Pakistan, Israel has history of altercations with Arabs and Palestinians to get hold of Israely land.In the end any body can coat their country in the name of religion.


  • Kumail
    Sep 2, 2012 - 6:23AM

    I’m sorry but regardless of the comparisions Israel is an illegal state whearas Pakistan is not. You cannot erase Palestinians from their justified homeland in hope of recompensing the jews for the crimes that the Europeans commitied against them. Its kind of like recognising a criminal group which has taken over a house which belongs to the family living in it. The comparisions that the author has pointed out are simply pointless.


  • Selvam
    Sep 2, 2012 - 6:23AM

    There is only 1 Jewish majority country on earth: Israel.
    There are 49 Muslim majority countries around.
    There was a Holocaust on the 13.4 million Jews on this planet: Islam is growing fast and stands today at 1.57 billion.
    Israel contains 75% of all Jews: Pakistan contains 11 % of all Muslims around.

    Rights and treatment of minorities are incomparable.
    The rights of women are incomparable: Israel has many female soldiers and officers and police.
    The power of the generals are incomparable.
    Etc. etc.


  • vasan
    Sep 2, 2012 - 6:57AM

    One major difference is “Israel was created to protect the jews(of the world) in their own religiously promised land, whereas Pakistan was created to protect the Indians from muslims of Pakistan,”


  • mr. righty rightist
    Sep 2, 2012 - 7:01AM

    @Zaid Hamid

    True. :)

    Pakistan also defeated Bangladesh 1 time.


  • Polpot
    Sep 2, 2012 - 8:28AM

    I think that Israel missed having a leader like Zia ul Haq…
    Otherwise the comparison would have been more colorful.


  • Polpot
    Sep 2, 2012 - 8:39AM

    @Zaid Hamid:You must be referring to under 19 cricket!


  • Polpot
    Sep 2, 2012 - 8:47AM

    Israel is a country that garners admiration and respect, Pakistan…..( better left unstated)


  • Ashvinn
    Sep 2, 2012 - 9:04AM

    @Dr V. C. Bhutani:
    And you share a liberal visa regime with such people hats of to you sir I have no words


  • imran
    Sep 2, 2012 - 9:32AM

    For many of u above,being secular doesn’t mean kafir/murtad.period.


  • Polpot
    Sep 2, 2012 - 9:39AM

    @Dr V. C. Bhutani: “Pakistan and India ethnically cleansed a mass of population from both sides.”
    Repeatedly Pakistan attempts to establish equality with India ,

    eg Terrorism is threat both to India and Pakistan…..soon there will be a claim that OBL lived in South Mumbai as well….


  • Sidewinder
    Sep 2, 2012 - 11:05AM

    so to relieve herself of this existential threat,Pakistan ended up attacking India on four occasions.great logic….


  • Asim
    Sep 2, 2012 - 11:16AM

    Iran and Saudia are the other two religious states.
    Pakistan and Israel both possess atomic weapons. Israel population is 7million and pakistan population is 180m.Recommend

  • Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani
    Sep 2, 2012 - 12:17PM

    Israel is US pet that is why prospering.


  • Insane
    Sep 2, 2012 - 1:22PM

    @Zaid Hamid:
    Joke of the century!!! hahahhaaa


  • Chulbul Pandey
    Sep 2, 2012 - 1:52PM

    @Robert Cohen:
    Robert ji…. I want some of what you are smoking! On second thought, never mind :)


  • KT
    Sep 2, 2012 - 2:23PM

    Both have received huge amounts of foreign aid over the years. Israelis have built their country, its industry and its economy with that aid whereas in Pakistan, prominent Pakistanis have built their bank balances. Israel has seldom let their foreign aid dictate their policies where as Pakistan keeps ping ponging between various domestic and foreign policies.


  • nitish
    Sep 2, 2012 - 3:13PM

    @Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani: So you r but not flourishing…A big difference


  • shireen khan
    Sep 2, 2012 - 4:25PM

    @ Raw is war. Are you joking, have you read about the treatment of Palestinians by the Israelis or are Muslims not considered a minority by you??


  • Salman Khan
    Sep 2, 2012 - 4:58PM

    Thanks Khaled Ahmed for writing this one, though i think Israel and Pakistan share more than what he has stated. In early years of Israel’s independence the identity “Jewish” was associated with nationalism and secularism but today the term “Jewish” is associated with ethnicity and religion, in Pakistan the identity “Pakistani” has also undergone the nearly same transition. Both the countries are quite a nuisance for their neighbors, both have fought many wars with their neighbors, both think their existence is in under threat. In both the countries the nexus between the Army and Clergy has dominated the state narrative. As Pakistani Army consider itself as protector of “ideological frontiers” Israeli army considers itself protector of the Jewish culture. Religious right in both the countries in xenophobic, both hate their minorities (Christians, Ahmedis, Shias in Pakistan. Muslims, Christians and non-Israeli jews in Israel).
    In both the countries Right has assumed tremendous powers and is sidelining the Secular narrative, few days ago a far right leader in Israel threatened to break hands and legs of the Israeli PM, compare him with Shiekh Rasheed who asked CJ to kill Asif Zardari. In both the countries the so called “patriots” consider Liberals as traitors who are lin both the countries are losing their grip on things and are surrendering to the Right. Similarly a week ago a large mob thrashed a few Arab teens in Israel because of a petty issue and Police stood there watching as they the mob was from a far right party against which police could not act, i think i don’t need to repeat such incidents from Pakistan. In both the countries the far right hates democracy and views the democratic process with disdain. The two countries share a lot of history and can have a common future as well, as the things stand today i wont be surprised if in coming few years both the countries become a theocracy.Recommend

  • kabir
    Sep 2, 2012 - 6:24PM

    It is true that both Israel and Pakistan were formed on the basis of religion. However, the two cases are also very different.

    Israel was formed directly on the backs of the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population. See Illan Pappe’s brilliant study “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” for more details. In the case of the subcontinent, the riots were spontaneous and atrocities were committed on both sides.

    Second, according to International Law, Israel is Occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Pakistan is not occupying anyone else’s land (There is the Kashmir issue, but that is a bilateral dispute with India, not an Occupation as such).


  • vivek ruparel
    Sep 2, 2012 - 7:07PM

    India would not take up Pakistan even if Ur army Parliament & Judiciary asked us 2, Its not just abt d land its d crazy ppl, U r killing each other despite being Muslims. All wars were started by Pakistan not India check facts U invaded Kashmir in 47 65 and 99, while in 71 U launched 1st attack across Intl borders.


  • afatqiamat
    Sep 2, 2012 - 7:07PM

    Israel’s basis is a historical dispute , from Exodus to Diaspora to coming back to the promised land .

    Pakistan on the other hand is based on a constructed Idealogy [ TNT ] which is questionable on many accounts

    Jamiat-e-Ulmai Hind and Jamat-e-Islami are the two parties that are said to oppose Pakistan , JI had little significant presence in Punjab , and J U H was North Indian Party .

    infact the deobandi breakaway Faction of Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani supported Pakistan

    and the Propaganda Machinery of AIML used Pirs and Brelvi Ulema of Punjab to stir up the religious and communal Frenzy in the Muslim Majority Province , Tiwana tried to counter that by using the Ahrars but they could not match the AIML onslaught

    and a Province where AIML once had resounding defeat [ 1936 election , 2 seats out of 84 ] ….turned the tables [ won 75 our of 86 seats in the later elections , all because they were able to successfully exploit the engineered religious and communal frenzy

    source ” Ishtiaq Ahmed’s column in the


  • Babbarsher Khan
    Sep 2, 2012 - 7:56PM

    Whether we like it or not Israel is a normal functioning state unlike Pakistan. Their institutions work. They have disagreements, multitude of opinion but at the end country moves on and the saddest fact is, it is more 100 light years ahead of us. We got our independence 65 years ago but we are yet to join community of “civilized nation”. So this comparison is an exercise in self gratification. Do not be happy by branding others “like us”!


  • Sexton Blake
    Sep 2, 2012 - 8:48PM

    It is sad the way many Pakistanis talk their country down. Pakistan certainly has problems, many of then inherited from Britain, some because it has a large piece of under-developed real-estate, uncertain weather conditions, which periodically cause flooding, and some because of the huge population. Israel has gone ahead economically, but this was due in large part to them having a very small population, getting rid of large numbers of people they did not want, and being given astronomical handouts from the Americans. However, if one looks closely at the Israeli economy it appears to be going backwards and its people are far from happy. Pakistanis should stop complaining, try to overcome very real problems, get the country working, and stop dreaming about being accepted by the so called wealthier countries whose streets are not paved with gold, unlike the popular perception. As an example, Britain also has very large numbers of poor people with a low standard-of-living, and it is getting worse every year


  • Azra Shahnaz
    Sep 2, 2012 - 9:57PM

    Khalid Ahmed Saheb has failed mention a fundamental difference between Israel and Pakistan: while the former has 90% population comprising immigrants, the latter has hardly 10% population coming from different parts of the world! And the the major factor that turned a secular Israel to Jewish state. Pakistan turned Islamist as a part of US policy of Containment! I wish Khalid Saheb been fairer in this comparison!


  • shireen khan
    Sep 2, 2012 - 11:05PM

    @ Raw is war, are you serious, are Muslims not minorities, how does Israelis treat Palestinians…


  • Sexton Blake
    Sep 3, 2012 - 6:27AM

    Dear Roy,
    You should realize that apart from America giving huge annual sums of money to Israel, Germany has also donated three times its Gross Domestic Product to Israel. All this for a population of only a few million people. To be reasonably accurate the population was less than 2.5 million in 1963. It is less than 8 million now.


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Sep 3, 2012 - 11:27AM


    Israel was made as a homeland for
    Jews all over the world, because of
    the brutal persecution that the Jews
    suffered under Hitler in Europe.
    Pakistan was created as a country for
    Indian muslims, who were anything but

    Actually, Pakistan was created for people who didn’t want to lose the “god given fundamental right” to persecute anybody who disagrees with them.


  • USMAN786
    Sep 3, 2012 - 12:18PM

    An Israeli guy said “A really interesting comparison I must say! Although, without commenting on religious matters, I believe that religion should be separated from the state in order both of them to flourish”.


  • Muhammad Yaqub
    Sep 3, 2012 - 12:49PM

    The only 2 states ever created in the name of Religion-against the teachings of God in any Religion. Both are failed states and both are doomed to failure !!


  • Another Pakistani
    Sep 3, 2012 - 3:19PM

    Fate Of Israel Has Been Written .. Only Moat From Pakistani Hands Inshallah Very Soon.


  • Sexton Blake
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:45PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    Dear Yuri,
    Did Yuri,
    You have me a little confused. Did you mean Israel was created to make the Middle-East a living hell for the real Semites who have owned and lived in what is now called Israel for thousands of years. They are called Palestinians. .


  • Anonymous
    Sep 4, 2012 - 4:47AM

    My observation is that all hypernationalist when reminded that Israel and Pakistan was obtained for particular religious groups they don’t like comparison. I hope this may be gentle reminder to the people who don’t know this.


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Sep 4, 2012 - 11:40AM

    @Sexton Blake:
    I never mentioned Israel in my post.


  • Omar
    Sep 4, 2012 - 6:12PM

    Just a comment passing by.


  • Sexton Blake
    Sep 5, 2012 - 12:25AM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    Dear Yuri,
    Your latest missive stated that you did not mention Israel. In my copy of Express Tribune, and it was the one I had in mind when I questioned your contribution, stated: “Israel was made a homeland for Jews all over the world”. As a result silly me thought your topic included Israel. Now, either Express Tribune got it wrong, which is unlikely, or I was having a senior moment and totally misunderstood the situation, which also is unlikely, or you have it wrong. Perhaps we should drop the whole thing, shouldn’t we?


  • Abu Zulfiqar
    Sep 5, 2012 - 12:34AM

    curiously — orthodox Jews were against the creation of israel and are anti-zionist; orthodox Muslim deobandis of british bharat colony were against the creation of Pakistan

    i think anything “fundamentalist” or “ultra orthodox” can cause shivers. Everything in life should be balanced. Too much of anything is bad.

    the only difference here is — Pakistan isn’t kow towing to religious extremists in political power simply because in Pakistan – there are no religious clergy that hold any considerable influence over the politics. The religious parties in Pakistan may be able to hold rallies here and there on short notice –but at the end of the day the number of votes they managed to secure in any elections have been mediocre at best.

    Now with that said, Pakistan’s current government has been pretty cowardice as far as tackling extremism — specifically the sectarian/hate movements. That’s simply because they are both scared and simply lack the will to do so.

    the Army is the only institution that has fought these people; it’s the only instititon that also used other measures for those that can be saved –for example de-radicalization centers

    now of course my detractors will say “those ultra orthodox religious right in israel arent deploying suicide bombers and killing others”

    well – that’s absolute nonsense and we can quite clearly see that we have similar problems –perhaps pronounced differently. I read about militant jewish settlers attacking/burning Mosques, attacking Arabs, banning them from attending certain schools, etc. They were bulldozed out of their homes, even their olive trees uprooted. Just because tactics are different doesnt mean that the extent of the crimes are different.

    these extremists in general use both physical intimidation as well as psychological warfare of sorts and that’s why they are bad news for BOTH countries, though realities in both countries are different.

    Palestinians never were the terrorists anyways.

    God bless & Long live PAKISTAN


  • Abu Zulfiqar
    Sep 5, 2012 - 12:36AM

    @Prabhat Pal:

    no…we just dislike indians like you


  • Abu Zulfiqar
    Sep 5, 2012 - 12:37AM

    @no one:

    you have no idea what you are talking about; stop embarrassing yourself


  • maaz
    Sep 18, 2012 - 6:13AM

    Correction….1. Jinnah always insisted on religious law to be implemented in Pakistan.
    2. Pakistan was made by muslims who sacrificed over ,Pakistan. So dear author even if Jinnah said that Pakistan will be secular (which is not proven),muslims always chanted and struggled for it.Recommend

  • Rani
    Oct 20, 2012 - 2:45PM

    So you don’t know that there are females in Pakistan Army, PAF and police? HA! I advice you Indian trolls not to make comments about us when you don’t know anything!


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