5-Bangalore Town, Sharae Faisal PO Box 13033, Karachi-75350, Pakistan.
Acknowledgements Contributors List of Acronyms
SECTION 1: THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
1. The concept of a peace process MOONIS AHMAR
2. Peace processes: A comparative study TALAT A. WIZARAT
SECTION 2: THE SOUTH ASIAN PERSPECTIVES
3. Lessons for India and Pakistan from the ArabIsraeli peace process: A view from New Delhi
4. Lessons for India and Pakistan from the ArabIsraeli peace process: A view from Islamabad
MAQSOODUL HASAN NURI
5. Crossroads of conflict and peace in South Asia: A regional perspective
SECTION 3: THE MIDDLE EASTERN PERSPECTIVES
6. What South Asia can learn from the Middle East:
An Egyptian perspective 117
7. What South Asia can learn from the Middle East
peace process: An Israeli perspective 142
8. The peace process in the Middle East and its implications for the South Asian region:
A Palestinian perspective 165
KAMAL M.M. AL-ASTAL
9. Lebanon and the peace process: Lessons for India
and Pakistan 176
10. The Syrian-Israeli peace process 199 WALID KAZZIHA
11. The impact of the peace process on Jordan 211
SECTION 4: MILITARY AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS
12. Military aspects of the Middle East peace process: Some South Asian parallels and lessons
MOHAMMAD EL-SAYED SELIM
13. Economic dimensions of the peace process and their implications for South Asia BASHIR ZU’BI AND YUSUF MANSUR
SECTION 5: THIRD PARTY MEDIATION
14. The role of the US as a third party mediator
in the Middle East peace process: Implications for an Indo-Pakistan peace process 275
SECTION 6: THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA
15. The role of the media in crisis prevention and management: The Israeli-Palestinian peace process and South Asia
16. The role of the media in the two peace processes: A South Asian perspective
Tables Index 295
Over the years, I have written numerous forewords in Egypt and in Europe. On a few occasions only, have I had the opportunity to foreword a book written by a group of professors and scholars from the third world, dealing with critical issues concerning the future of the third world.
It is therefore an honour for me to have been solicited by Dr Moonis Ahmar to prepare the foreword for ’The Arab-Israeli peace process, lessons for India and Pakistan’.
This book has two major qualities which give it strength and originality.
Firstly, on a major international issue it brings the perspective of scholars, all coming from countries which are involved in the conflicts in consideration (Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine).
Secondly, it deals only with conflicts affecting the third world and draws interesting lessons from this cross-examination.
I would like to congratulate the team of authors for the high quality of articles presented in this book. The extensive documentary research, the sharpness of the analyses and the firmness of the conclusions are just a few of the many highlights of this work.
Such a collection of studies is welcome and very timely, as we have witnessed the proliferation of armed conflicts in the third world since the end of the Cold war. I hope this book will inspire those who are engaged in the search for solutions to those conflicts. In doing so, this publication will have contributed to bringing peace in countries that should be able to devote all their efforts to the struggle against poverty and underdevelopment.
For many years, Indians and Pakistanis have viewed the Middle East as an ’intractable’ or ’difficult’ region, and have boasted that whatever their problems, the core dispute between India and Pakistan was, comparatively speaking, under control. For their part, Israelis and Arabs-including the Palestinians-had little interest in South Asia. For the former, Pakistan’s outright hostility and India’s friendship with many of Israel’s enemies ruled out any close relationship with either; for the latter, India and Pakistan were seen as strategically irrelevant, a sideshow, and besides they had more than enough attention from the superpowers. Many commentators on the Middle East regarded their region’s conflicts as both more important and more intractable than those between India and Pakistan. One could count on few things in the world, but the potential of a war between Israel and one or more of its neighbors was one of them.
However, we live in fast-changing times. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the aging of the Palestinian leadership, the yearning for peace of many Israelis, and continuing high-level American engagement, a long-established ’peace process’ actually began to show results. The Middle East peace process has taken hold; it has a logic of its own, and as long as the United States and other major powers remain engaged, it is likely to inch forward towards solutions that are increasingly acceptable to the parties involved. There remains the resolution of the status of Jerusalem, the disposition of the ’refugee’ issue, and other matters, but the large-scale wars of the past seem to be ruled out. There also remains the risk of weapons of mass destruction, and the ever-present insult of terrorist acts, but the Middle East, especially the Arab-Israeli dispute, has now moved from an area of crisis to one of concern. Few can argue that the
region has not only moved away from war and conflict, but towards greater justice for the key parties involved, both Israelis and Palestinians.
This book examines and compares the peace process in operation in the Middle East with that still to emerge in South Asia. India and Pakistan have the dubious distinction of being regarded as the core of the world’s most dangerous and intractable conflict. Some in the region may take perverse pride in being ’number one’ in this category (it is better to be worried over, perhaps, than ignored), but from the perspective of the rest of the world South Asia-especially Pakistan-has the potential of sinking into a morass of violence and war.
While each region, and each crisis, has its own origins and (presumably) its own road to resolution, they can be usefully viewed in comparative perspective, and here this book makes a profoundly important contribution to our understanding of both the Middle East and South Asia. It serves as both a benchmark and a roadmap. Through its comparison with the Middle East peace process, it suggests the direction that Delhi and Islamabad might take. There are many points of difference between the Middle East peace process and a possible South Asian peace process (and the authors of individual chapters examine these carefully), but there are also points of similarity. There are even opportunities open to Indians and Pakistanis that are not available in the Middle East. Dr Ahmar and the authors of this book have given us a landmark study and it would be tragic if the wisdom contained in this book is ignored by key regional policy-makers.
It is commonly asserted that we should try to learn from our mistakes. Wisdom consists of also learning from the mistakes (and successes) of others. The book that Dr Ahmar has editedand to which he has made a particularly important contributionprovides a comprehensive study of how another region has managed to overcome a similar legacy of partition, ethnic and religious conflict, extremist ideology, stereotyping, and poverty. I am confident that a new generation of Indian and Pakistani leaders will weigh the advantages of cooperation against its
nsk, To this end they will find this book to be an invaluable
Dr Stephen P. Cohen Senior Fellow Brookings Institution Washington DC
4 September 2000
I cannot miss the opportunity to mention the guidance and assistance which was provided to me when initial research on the theme of this book was done at the Program In Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security (ACDIS), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During my two-year stay in ACDIS, I worked closely with the then Director of the Program, Professor Stephen P. Cohen. It was under his able guidance that my initial research on this topic was published by ACDIS in one of its Occasional Papers. At the University of Illinois, I also got support and assistance from Dr Marvin Weinbaum, Professor of Political Science and Director, South and West Asian Studies Program. I am thankful to Professors Cohen and Weinbaum for their encouragement in pursuing research on the comparison between the Arab-Israeli and Indo-Pak conflicts.
The present volume wouldn’t have seen the light of day without the support of my colleagues in the Department, particularly those associated with the Ford Foundation/ International Relations Department Research Project. In particular, I would like to express my thanks to Mr Sheikh Mutahir Ahmed, Mr Naeem Ahmed and Ms Arshi Saleem, my colleagues in the Department, for going through the manuscript and giving their suggestions. I am also thankful to the young team of research assistants for their help in successfully completing the project.
I would also like to express my thanks to the Ford Foundation for their generous financial support for organizing several workshops and conducting research related to this project.
Finally, I want to thank my friends and family members whose moral support enabled me to undertake and complete this project.
Moonis Ahmar Karachi, 1 February 2000
DR MOONIS AHMAR is Associate Prof^ssor at the Department of
International Relations, University Of Karachi, Pakistan. PROFESSOR TALAT A. WIZARAT teaches at the Department of
International Relations, University of Karachi, Pakistan. DR AMITABH MATTOO is Associate Professor and Chairperson,
Centre for Disarmament, International Politics and
Organization, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal
Nehru University, New Delhi, InQiia. DR MAQSOODUL HASAN NURI is Senior Research Officer, Institute
of Regional Studies, Islamabad. DR IFTEKHARUZZAMAN is Executive Director, Bangladesh
Freedom Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh. DR IBRAHIM ARAFAT is Assistant Professor, Department of
Political Science, Faculty of Economics and Political
Science, University of Cairo, Giz;a, Egypt. DR MOSHE MA’OZ is Senior Research, Associate at the Truman
Centre, Jerusalem, Israel. DR KAMAL ASTAL is Political Adviser, Ministry of Planning and
International Cooperation, The Palestinian National
Authority, Gaza and Chairman, Department of Politics,
Faculty of Economics and Administrative Science, Al-Azhar
University, Gaza, Palestine. DR FARID EL-KHAZEN is Associate Professor, American
University of Beirut, Lebanon. DR WALID KAZZIHA is Professor of Political Science, the
American University in Cairo, Egypt. DR MOHAMMAD MASALHA is Secretary General, The Jordanian
Parliament, Amman, Jordan. DR MOHAMMED EL-SAYED SELIM is Professor of Political Science,
Faculty of Economics and Political Science, University of
Cairo, Giza, Egypt.
DR BASHIR ZU’BI is Professor of Economics and DR YUSUF
MANSUR is Associate Professor of Economics at the
Jordanian University, Amman, Jordan. Ms LALITA PANICKAR is Senior Assistant Editor, The Times of
India, New Delhi, India. MR GHAZI SALAHUDDIN is Editorial Director, Jang Group of
Newspapers, Karachi, Pakistan. DR WADOUDA BADRAN is Professor of Political Science and Vice
Dean, Faculty of Economics and Political Science,
University of Cairo, Giza, Egypt.
LIST OF ACRONYMS
ACRSC Arms Control and Regional Security
ANC African National Congress
APHC All-Party Hurriyat Conference
BBC British Broadcasting Corporation
BJP Bharatiya Janata Party
CBM Confidence-Building Measures
CIA Central Intelligence Agency
CHT Chittagong Hill Tracts
CTBT Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
CNN Cable News Network
CSCE Conference on Security and Cooperation in
CWC Chemical Weapons Convention
DGMO Director General Military Operation
FMCT Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty
GNP Gross National Product
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GCC Gulf Cooperation Council
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
ICJ International Court of Justice
LoC Line of Control
MENA Middle East North Africa
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NPT Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
NGO Non-Government Organization
NSACZ Nuclear Safety, Assistant, and Collaboration Zone
OIC Organization of Islamic Conference
PNC Palestinian National Council
PA Palestinian Authority
PLO Palestinian Liberation Organization
QIZ Qualified Industrial Zone
XX LIST OF ACRONYMS
SAARC South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation
SAFTA South Asian Free Trade Agreement
SAPTA South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement
SLA South Lebanese Army
UN United Nations
UAE United Arab Emirates
UNMOGIP United Nations Military Observer Group in India
WTO World Trade Organization
WMD Weapons of Mass Destruction
The end of the Cold War at the superpower level created opportunities for the peaceful resolution of disputes. Some of the intractable conflicts, which had destabilized global peace and security during the Cold War years, were resolved.1 Followed by momentous events like the launching of the Intifadah, the Iraqi attack on Kuwait and the Gulf War; the Soviet disunion and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the Middle East peace process was launched with the holding of the Madrid summit in October 1991. With the signing of the Washington agreement between Israel and the PLO on 13 September 1993 and subsequent progress in the Arab-Israeli peace process, namely, the signing of the Jordanian-Israeli agreement on
24 October 1994, hopes for the resolution of the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli conflicts were also raised. However, with the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November
1995, the defeat of the Labour Party in the May 1996 elections and assumption of power by the hard-line Likud Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu, the Middle East peace process underwent a serious crisis. During the tenure of Netanyahu, there was a stalemate in the PLO-Israeli peace track and the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli peace tracks also remained frozen. Because of the anti-Oslo agreement policies of the Likud Party, Israel’s relations with Egypt and Jordan soured and its relations with other moderate Arab states become strained. It was in this backdrop that political change in Israel, as a result of Netanyahu’s defeat in the June 1999 elections and the assumption of power by the Labour Party leader Ehud Barak, replaced pessimism with optimism in the Middle East peace process.
Unlike the Middle East where the end of the Cold War prompted the launching of a peace process between the Israelis
2 THE ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE PROCESS
and the Arabs, including the Palestinians, in South Asia, the two major countries of the region, India and Pakistan, continued to remain locked in a Cold War situation. Barring a few confidence building measures which New Delhi and Islamabad had signed in 1991 and 1992,2 the Indo-Pak normalization process remained stagnant. The Kashmir dispute, which had remained a source of irritation between India and Pakistan since the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, escalated with the uprising of the Kashmiris against Indian rule in 1989. Since
1990 onwards, Indo-Pak relations became a hostage of the unresolved Kashmir issue. With the induction of nuclear weapons by the two countries in May 1998 and the escalation of tension along the Line of Control (LoC) in May 1999, the threat of an outbreak of hostilities in South Asia became a reality.
The intractable nature of conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia, namely Palestine and Kashmir, tend to raise questions about the similarities and differences in the peace processes of the two regions.3 While the Arab-Israeli peace process has reached a mature stage in view of the progress which has been accomplished since the signing of the Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel in September 1978,4 in South Asia, the process of conflict resolution has not yet taken off. From the historical, religious, political, security, and territorial point of view, one can see numerous similarities and differences in the conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia. The unresolved conflicts of Palestine and Kashmir are the outcome of the same reasons. Wars were fought in the two regions to change and alter the territorial status quo and foreign powers also played a significant role in the dynamics of the Middle East and South Asia. Although similarities are noticeable in the conflicts of the Middle East and South Asia, the two regions are structurally different because of the high strategic relevance of the Middle East, and the low strategic importance of South Asia; nuclear symmetry in South Asia and nuclear asymmetry in the Middle East and the role of third party mediation in the Middle East conflicts vis a vis its absence in
the case of South Asia. A brief note on the relevance between the Arab-Israeli and Indo-Pak conflicts by Dr El-Syed Selim is given below:
One cannot draw inferences from one region to the other unless the conditions under which such inferences occurred are present. In case of the Middle East and South Asia there are numerous commonalities in the areas of territorial, ideological, and ethnic conflict. Both regions are the largest arms markets in the Third World. They share more or less similar socio-economic and cultural characteristics and have historical linkage. In South Asia, as in the Middle East, what is needed is a meaningful dialogue on the basic conflictual issues to remove them from the agenda. Also a series of steps are needed to allay the fears of the weaker parties under conditions of strategic disequilibrium.5
Although the peace process in the Middle East cannot be termed as a ’success story’ in the classical sense given the historical, religious, cultural, security, and territorial connections between the Middle East and South Asia, one wonders what lessons India and Pakistan can learn from the Arab-Israeli experience of the peace process. Regardless of the relevance and irrelevance of the Middle East peace process in the context of India and Pakistan, it is interesting to examine why Israel and its neighbours, despite the intractable nature of their conflicts, have agreed to embark on the road to peace and why India and Pakistan, who share a common past, present strife, and future challenges are unable to move in the direction of conflict resolution? It is in this background that the Department of International Relations, University of Karachi, launched a research project, with a grant from the Ford Foundation, to conduct a systematic study of lessons which New Delhi and Islamabad can learn from the successes and failures of the ArabIsraeli peace process. Under the project, four workshops were held in Karachi, New Delhi, and Port Said in which participants from the Middle East and South Asia examined in detail the following questions:
• How is the concept of a peace process applicable to the ArabIsraeli conflict and why has it not yet taken off in the case of the Indo-Pak conflict?
• Why has the Middle East peace process reached a mature stage and why has the Indo-Pak peace process not yet reached a stable position?
• What lessons can India and Pakistan learn from the Middle East peace process and how?
• What is the difference between Indian and Pakistani perceptions on the Middle East peace process?
• What is the view of SAARC countries on the Middle East peace process?
• What are Egyptian, Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian, Lebanese, and Syrian perceptions on the lessons which Islamabad and New Delhi can learn from the Middle East peace process?
• How is third party mediation a factor in the Middle East peace process and why is it not relevant in the case of India and Pakistan?
• How crucial is the external factor in the case of the Middle East peace process and why is it not visible in the case of India and Pakistan?
• What is the role and relevance of nuclear symmetry in South Asia on nuclear asymmetry in the Middle East?
• What are the economic dimensions of the Middle East peace process and how is the economic factor relevant in the case of the Indo-Pak peace process?
• How has the step-by-step approach contributed to the Middle East peace process and what is its relevance in the case of India and Pakistan?
How has the time factor played a role in the Arab-Israeli normalization process and how could it be useful in the case of India and Pakistan?
How did the role of leadership make a difference in the Middle East peace process and why has it not played a significant role in the case of the Indo-Pak peace process? How did public opinion influence the Middle East peace process and what is its role in the peaceful resolution of conflicts between Islamabad and New Delhi?
• How did the extremist elements influence the Arab-Israeli normalization process and what is their role in the area of the Indo-Pak conflict resolution?
• How has the media played its role in the Middle East peace process and what is its relevance in the case of the Indo-Pak normalization of relations?
As a result of discussions held in the workshops and meetings under the project, eight important opinions about the lessons India and Pakistan can learn from the Arab-Israeli peace process emerged viz:
1. Despite the structural differences between the peace processes of the Middle East and South Asia, India and Pakistan can learn from the experience of Arab-Israeli reconciliation. In both the conflicts, religious extremism plays an important role. Similarly, from the historical point of view, the roots of the Palestinian and Kashmir conflicts are present in the colonial legacy of the Middle East and South Asia respectively.
2. While third party mediation had played an important role in strengthening the Middle East peace process, such a factor is not relevant in the case of India and Pakistan because of New Delhi’s consistent opposition to the involvement of any foreign power. India’s emphasis on bilateral dialogue is the major cause of rejection of third party mediation for resolving its conflicts with Pakistan.
3. The military factor is crucial in any peace process. Israel’s conventional and nuclear superiority vis-a-vis its neighbours in the Middle East is a source of instability in that region. As far as India and Pakistan are concerned, India enjoys conventional superiority vis-a-vis Pakistan but the nuclear symmetry between the two countries is perceived as being conducive to maintaining stability in South Asia. Therefore, for the Arab countries, nuclear deterrence in South Asia and its absence in the Middle East tends to raise questions about strategic connections between the two regions.
6 THE ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE PROCESS
4. Some of the lessons which are essential for India and Pakistan to learn from the Middle East peace process are related to the question of a step-by-step approach and the role of public opinion. In case of a step-by-step approach, there exists an analogy between the positions taken by India and Israel. Both these countries insist on following the step-by-step approach before moving for the resolution of core issues. The Palestinians in particular and Arab neighbours of Israel in general view the step-by-step approach as an attempt to delay the settlement of pressing issues like the formation of an independent Palestinian State, the status of Jerusalem, the return of refugees, withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Golan Heights and the so-called security zone of South Lebanon. In the case of South Asia, the Indian insistence on the adoption of a step-by-step approach is attributed to its strategy to defer discussion on the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Most important, in the cases of the Middle East and South Asia, is that both Israel and India insist on following an approach for people-to-people interaction, and economic and trade cooperation while freezing contentious issues. From the Indian and Israeli point of view, there are no quick fixes to resolve intractable conflicts and an environment of mutual trust and cooperation should first be created before moving in the direction of dealing with more critical issues. The relevance of a step-by-step approach is discussed by Dr Wadouda Badran in the following words:
A review of the effectiveness of the step-by-step approach in the Arab-Israeli peace process reveals that such an approach might not lead very far in resolving the core issues dividing India and Pakistan. Over the past twenty-five years the advantages of stepby-step tactics have not materialized. Resolution of the core issues is still ambiguous. The step-by-step approach in the Middle East peace process can also lead to a stalemate. The Middle East peace process demonstrates that the adoption of the step-by-step approach actually poses a pessimistic scenario for a possible Indo-Pak resolution of this dyadic conflict.6
5. Similarly, public opinion is also an essential determinant and one of the lessons to be learnt from the experience of the Middle East, is to take important segments of public opinion into confidence because any agreement or deal reached bypassing the people can be counter-productive. One should remember the fact that governments sign agreements but it is the people who can ensure the successful implementation of such agreements.
6. Time factor is an important element of the peace process because the failure of any party to adhere to the time limit for the implementation of an agreement can create a serious credibility crisis. As it happened in the case of the ArabIsraeli peace process, the failure of the Netanyahu government to implement the Oslo agreement within the stipulated time frame caused a serious setback to the peace process. In the case of South Asia, India and Pakistan need to keep in mind the need to follow the implementation of an agreement or a
7. Incentives for peace play an important role in pursuing rivals to engage in a peace process. The Middle East peace process, despite its shortcomings, contributed significantly in persuading Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and the PLO to continue with the peace process. Billions of dollars of US aid and assistance to the parties involved in the peace process and the investments made by the outside world in countries abandoning the option of war in the Middle East significantly contributed to the economic development and progress of these countries. However, an unfair peace deal or delaying tactics for the implementation of peace agreements can negatively affect the pace of economic cooperation between the two former adversaries. Economic incentives can play a useful role in bringing India and Pakistan closer to a meaningful peace process because the two countries will benefit if adequate resources are available for the task of poverty alleviation and infrastructure development. But it all depends on the just and fair approach determining the modalities of economic cooperation between the two
8 THE ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE PROCESS
neighbouring countries. The economic dimension of the peace process is vividly discussed by Dr Bashir Zu’bi and Dr Yusuf Mansur as follows:
Even though the peace process has opened the door to economic cooperation between Israel and its neighbours, there is very little economic cooperation between it and Egypt and Jordan. Egyptian cooperation has been slower and proportionately less than that of Jordan with Israel. Even today, Egypt maintains a tougher stand with Israel than Jordan does, because Egypt feels that Israel is more of a competitor to Egyptian leadership in the region. Furthermore, the political leadership in Jordan had opted to speed the normalization process with Israel to hasten the fruits of peace agreements. The lack of cooperation on the part of Egypt may also be due to the belief that the peace agreements have not been fair to the Arabs, that they were not comprehensive, and that the Israelis want to dominate the economy of the region. Such perceptions must be avoided from the start by the governments of India and Pakistan through transparent and popular processes that address all fears before they occur.7
8. The media has the power to influence public opinion and the policy-making process. In the Middle East peace process, a vast section of the print media failed to give a positive picture of the peace process, causing increased public resentment and anger. In the case of India and Pakistan, the print and electronic media has not helped in diluting the enemy image and mistrust present in the two countries. For the launching of a viable peace process in South Asia, it is imperative that the media in India and Pakistan is not hostile to peace efforts and renders adequate support for the cause of normal relations between the two neighbouring countries.
9. The role of leadership in a peace process cannot be underestimated. In the Middle East peace process, the initiative for peace taken by the Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat changed the course of history in that region. The courage, clarity, vision and determination expressed by the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the PLO leader Yasser
Arafat, and the Jordanian monarch King Hussein greatly contributed to replace an era of confrontation with cooperation. In the case of South Asia, India and Pakistan can learn how the leaders involved in the Middle East peace process went ahead with the course of normalization and why their own leadership has not been able to act with courage, vision and boldness in seeking the path of peace instead of war.
Most of the papers in this volume were presented at the workshops which were organized under the auspices of the Ford Foundation/International Relations Department Research Project. Based on the perceptions on the theme of the project, the authors have tried to answer the questions which have been discussed above. With regard to the perception of South Asians vis-a-vis the Arab-Israeli peace process, an interesting illustration has been given by Dr Iftekharuzzaman in the following words:
It must be added that conflict in the Middle East and its peace process has always been keenly followed in the region, both at the level of the states as well as at the popular level. South Asian peoples and states have actively articulated their support to the Middle East peace process nationally, regionally, and internationally. South Asia has been active in mobilizing international public opinion for peace in the Middle East, and major developments in the Middle East have always had repercussions at various levels, including public demonstrations in the streets of South Asian cities, often including emotional and violent manifestations. The 10th SAARC summit held in Colombo on
31 July 1998 reaffirmed its support for the achievement of a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace based on UN resolution number
242 and 338 to restore the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.8
Because of historical, cultural and religious reasons, the ArabIsraeli conflicts, particularly the Palestinian question, has been a source of great interest to different segments of South Asian societies. The question of comparison between the conflicts in
THE ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE PROCESS
the Middle East and South Asia from the Indian and Pakistani points of view is vividly discussed by authors from the two countries. As pointed out by Dr Amitabh Mattoo from India:
Comparisons between the problems in the Middle East and South Asia often focus on superficial similarities, which can reduce themselves to caricatures. For example, the Intifadah in Palestine is viewed by some as having replicated itself in Kashmir, and therefore, the idea of exchanging ’land for peace’ is seen as a desirable solution to the problems in the Indian sub-continent. What is needed is a deeper, more rigorous, conceptual understanding of the prospect of peace in the two regions and strategies to build sustainable aman and shanti (peace) in South Asia and the Middle East.9
Dr Maqsoodul-Hasan Nuri, from Pakistan, holds the view that:
There is a qualitative difference between the two peace processes currently under way in the Middle East and South Asia. In fact, while the peace process in the Middle East is relatively advanced (despite breaks and starts), it may not be an overstatement that the peace process in South Asia is, at best, at a rudimentary stage, or at worst, not seriously started as yet. The main ingredients of a successful peace process are a set of confidence-building measures and their gradual and faithful implementation according to the time schedule; ongoing parleys and negotiations; public desire to support their government’s peace efforts; ceasing of hostile propaganda and armed hostilities (across the borders); not abetting internal disorder (within each other’s territories) through proxy wars; and promoting non-political educational, cultural, social and travel links. Based on the above criteria, the Middle East gets a better ranking than South Asia.10
What are the Middle Eastern perceptions about the lessons which India and Pakistan can learn from the Arab-Israeli peace process? Are there similarities and differences between the ArabIsraeli and Indo-Pak peace processes? Some of the positions taken by the authors from the Middle East in this volume tend to highlight the structural differences between their conflicts
and the conflicts in South Asia. To them, the number of players and the role of external interest in the Middle East peace process provide, a logical difference with India and Pakistan where there are only two countries involved and the external powers, notwithstanding the nuclear tests of Islamabad and New Delhi, have followed a cautious approach in the process of conflict resolution in South Asia. Dr Ibrahim Arafat points out the major differences between the Arab-Israeli and Indo-Pak peace processes in the following words:
While the Middle East was catapulted to peace by the end of the Cold War, South Asia appears not much different in the post-Cold War era. In the Middle East, the end of the Cold War changed the calculations of the adversaries. Both Arabs and Israelis became more convinced, especially with the demise of the Soviet Union, that the dynamics of the old bi-polar system could no longer stay in place. In South Asia, the region has usually enjoyed, or perhaps suffered from, a certain degree of autonomy vis-a-vis the international system. Put differently, the intra-regional stimuli in South Asia have usually dominated and over-protected South Asia against external penetration, and has simultaneously deprived the region from international mediatory and conciliatory efforts.”
The differences and similarities in the Arab-Israeli and IndoPak conflicts from the Israeli point of view are expressed by Dr Moshe Ma’oz who feels that:
Unlike the Indo-Pak dispute, whose core issue is the Kashmir problem, the Arab-Israeli conflict has several crucial and interwoven ramifications: the issue of Palestinian self-determination and the status of Jerusalem, the fate of the Palestinian refugees and Jewish settlements as well as the Golan and Southern Lebanese problem. Without an equitable resolution of these issues, Israel’s legitimacy will not be fully accepted by its Arab neighbours and by other nations. This is not the case of either India or Pakistan that continue to tolerably and legitimately coexist notwithstanding the status quo over the Kashmir dispute. But despite these major differences, there have been significant similarities between the two deep-rooted disputes in South and West Asia namely, their historical,
12 THE ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE PROCESS
ideological, psychological, cultural, and territorial components. Certainly the rival parties from each region can learn from the other’s experience and make efforts to mitigate or resolve their bilateral conflicts.lz
The projection of an ’enemy’ image in the print and electronic media is a serious impediment to a peace process. In the case of the Arab-Israeli and Indo-Pak conflicts, the role of the media in diluting tension at the popular and official level is significant. What lessons can be drawn by Islamabad and New Delhi from the Middle East peace process in the context of the role of the media? Lalita Panickar, an Indian journalist maintains that:
In case of both West Asia and South Asia, we have seen that once the television turns its attention away, the world community too loses interest. In South Asia, in recent times, we saw a tremendous brouhaha in the media over the nuclear explosions. In West Asia, the media seemed to tire of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s obduracy and Yasser Arafat’s tame threats of declaring statehood.13
Ghazi Salahuddin, a Pakistani journalist holds the view that:
Unlike South Asia, there have been frequent shifts and changes in the Middle East and these changes also relate to variations in the popular mood in Israel as well as among the Palestinians. There have been reports about how the world media, especially cable and satellite television, brought about a new openness in Israel. But there is also this glaring image of a divided policy everywhere. And in the South Asian societies, domestic discord does not prompt any radical initiatives for the kind which launched the Middle East peace process way back in September 1978 with the Camp David Accords.14
The present study is the first of its kind to systematically examine the Middle Eastern and South Asian perceptions on the lessons which India and Pakistan can learn from the Arab-Israeli peace process. It is hoped that the arguments raised and issues discussed in this volume will generate debate and discourse in
circles which are interested in studying the similarities and differences in the conflicts of the two regions. Comparative studies of various conflicts provide an opportunity to readers to understand the dynamics of structural differences and similarities of conflicts and look for a solution. The present volume tries to create a better comprehension about the areas of convergence and divergence in the Arab-Israeli and Indo-Pak conflicts and the lessons which Islamabad and New Delhi can learn from the Middle East peace process.
Events like the escalation of tension between India and Pakistan because of the Kargil episode and the defeat of the Likud Party in the Israeli elections do influence security trends in South Asia and the Middle East. Feelings of optimism have gained ground after the assumption of power by Ehud Barak, the Labour Party leader and his negotiations with Arab leaders for resuming the Middle East peace process. In South Asia, hopes for peace generated in the backdrop of the Lahore-Delhi bus service and the visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Pakistan in February 1999 were shattered because of escalation of tension along the Line of Control in the Kargil-Drass sector. Based on the findings of workshops and discussions held under the auspices of the Project, it seems that New Delhi and Islamabad require substantial political will to cut the Gordian knot in their normalization process and move in the direction of reconciliation. In this regard, the two countries can learn lessons not only from the Middle East experience but also from peace processes in different conflict-ridden areas of the world.
Moonis Ahmar Karachi, 2 September 1999
THE ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE PROCESS NOTES
It was primarily because of the understanding reached between the US President Ronald Reagan and the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on the occasion of a superpower summit held in Washington in December
1987 that serious steps were taken to resolve regional conflicts like Angola, Kampuchea, Namibia, and Nicaragua. The issue of the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan was also resolved in the summit leading to the signing of Geneva accords on 14 April 1988. Military CBMs reached between India and Pakistan during that period were on preventing air and space violation, prior notification of military exercises, a treaty banning chemical weapons and a code on diplomatic conduct. See Michael Krepon and Amit Sevak (eds.), Crisis Prevention, Confidence Building, And Reconciliation Between India and Pakistan (Lahore: Vanguard Books, 1996.)
Moonis Ahmar, ’The Road to Peace in South Asia: Lessons for India and Pakistan from the Arab-Israeli peace process’, ACDIS Occasional Paper
3rd Edition (Champaign: Program In Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 1996.)
For a comprehensive account of the Arab-Israeli peace process, see Harold H. Saunders, The Other Walls: The Arab-Israeli peace process in a Global Perspective (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1985.) Mohammad el-Sayed Selim ’The military aspects of the Middle East peace process: Some South Asian parallels and lessons’. Paper presented at the Workshop under the Ford Foundation/International Relations Department Research Project, organized by the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Cairo at Port Said on 12-14 February 1999. Wadouda Badran, ’The role of the US as a Third Party in the Middle East peace process: Implications for an Indo-Pakistan peace settlement’. Paper presented at the Workshop under the Ford Foundation/International Relations Department Research Project, organized by the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Cairo at Port Said on 12-14 February 1999. Bashir Zu’bi and Yusuf Mansur, ’The Economic Dimension of the peace process and their Implications for South Asia’.
Iftekharuzzaman, ’Crossroads of Conflict and Peace in South Asia: A Regional Perspective’. Paper presented at the Workshop under the Ford Foundation/International Relations Department Research Project, organized by the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Cairo at Port Said on 12-14 February 1999.
Amitabh Mattoo, ’Lessons for India and Pakistan from the Arab-Israeli peace process: A view from New Delhi’. Paper presented at the Workshop under the Ford Foundation/International Relations Department Research
Project, organized by the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Cairo at Port Said on 12-14 February 1999.
10. Maqsoodul Hasan Nuri, ’Lessons for India and Pakistan from the ArabIsraeli peace process: A view from Islamabad’. Paper presented at the Workshop under the Ford Foundation/International Relations Department Research Project, organized by the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Cairo at Port Said on 12-14 February 1999.
11. Ibrahim Arafat, ’What Can South Asia Learn from the Middle East peace process: An Egyptian Perspective’. Paper presented at the Workshop under the Ford Foundation/International Relations Department Research Project, organized by the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Cairo at Port Said on 12-14 February 1999.
12. Moshe Ma’oz, ’The Arab-Israeli peace process: Lessons for India and Pakistan: A view from Israel’.
13. Lalita Panickar, The Role of the Media in Crisis Prevention and Management: India-Pakistan peace process and South Asia’. Paper presented at the Workshop under the Ford Foundation/International Relations Department Research Project, organized by the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Cairo at Port Said on 12-14 February 1999.
14. Ghazi Salahuddin, The role of the Media in the two peace processes: A South Asian Perspective’. Paper presented at the Workshop under the Ford Foundation/International Relations Department Research Project, organized by the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Cairo at Port Said on 12-14 February 1999.
THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Under the theme of conceptual framework the authors have examined gaps in theory and practice of the peace process and the launching of peace processes in different troubled spots of the world. While the concept of a peace process has originated in the West, its application in the ArabIsraeli and Indo-Pakistan conflicts cannot be ruled out. The authors in this section, Dr Moonis Ahmar and Professor Talat A. Wizarat have examined the need to remove contradictions in the theory and practice of a peace process and make it more transparent, just, and fair to the parties concerned. A comparison of peace processes in the Middle East, South Asia, Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Cambodia tends to prove the need for rethinking the concept of a peace process in the light of contradictions and limitations.