Pak’s role in sustaining Hamas remains off the radar

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Geopolitical expert Fabien Baussart says the ideological fount from which Hamas has sprung is organically linked to Pakistan and its jihadist orientation, reports Asian Lite News

A recent revelation by an ex-Pakistani minister of how Islamabad has been helping Palestinian militants by providing training to them, has made geopolitical observers take notice of how Pakistan is confusing the already obfuscate matters in Middle East.

In an op-ed for the Times of Israel, geopolitical expert Fabien Baussart has argued that the role of countries like Iran, Qatar and Turkey in sustaining Hamas has been well documented, however, the role of Pakistan has remained off the radar.

This comes amid the recent outbreak of clashes between Hamas and Israel and the subsequent ceasefire, which no one really expects to endure.

Baussart, who is the President of the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs (CPFA), said the ideological fount from which Hamas has sprung is organically linked to Pakistan and its jihadist orientation.

“The Muslim Brotherhood from which Hamas has remerged and the Jamaat Islami which is the mother organisation of jihadism in Pakistan, are two sides of the same coin. This ideological link and affinity is one of the basis of the burgeoning relationship between the Pakistani state and the Hamas para-state.”

Aside from the ideological connection, Baussart said Hamas makes a great fit for Pakistan’s ambitions to exercise influence beyond its borders. “Since these constraints prevent Pakistan from doing things that normal states do to expand their influence, Islamabad (or more appropriately Rawalpindi, the city where all strategic policy is framed and implemented) prefers to use asymmetric methods to expand its footprint without leaving behind its fingerprints,” he added.

Accusing Pakistan of muddying the waters in the Middle East, Baussart said Hamas is of course not the only terrorist organisation in the Middle East that Pakistan has flirted with. The expert even pointed to the reports of Pakistani terrorists moving into Syria to fight on the side of Daesh.

He further said of late Pakistan has been doubling down in its advocacy of the Palestinian cause. Although the Pakistanis are very vocal about Israeli actions in Gaza but avoid openly endorsing Hamas.

“The ideological, sectarian and religious dimension of this nexus is only one part of the story. The other even more important aspect of this nexus is that it neatly dovetails with Pakistan’s larger strategic play in the region where it is trying to forge new alliances with countries like Turkey, Qatar and Iran, all of which are not only backing Hamas but are also arraigned against the Saudi-led bloc or Arab countries,” Baussart said.

According to the writer, Pakistan’s efforts to amplify the Palestinian issue at the UNHRC suggests a diplomatic power play against countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE. The development is taking place as these Arab nations are moving towards normalizing relations with Israel.

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