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A New Twist

The cold war is now being played out in the Islamic world
between the Saudi and Iranian camps. It is imperative to have a
deeper view of the underlying dynamics of power politics.

By Syed Akhtar Ali Shah | October 2020

The peace process in the Middle East has taken a new turn with the signing of peace accords between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain. The USA is also around to give its blessings. We have observed emotional outbursts against the action, amidst criticism over the lukewarm reaction of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The bitterness appears as more profound in Pakistan through TV talk shows, writings and public meetings. No doubt, the news was quite shocking for all those who have been supportive of the Palestine cause and liberation movement. Therefore, the bitter reaction is understandable. Although, expressing emotions is a natural phenomenon, we are living in an international community, therefore grasping the realpolitik is also essential. Today, power politics is the norm, whereas the art lies in how to balance various acts and adjust to the new emerging realties.

The question that agitates the mind is whether this was a sudden move that took us all by surprise? Those who read books, journals and magazines on international affairs must be aware that interstate relations are guided by strategic interests of countries and not only by ideologies. The use of rhetoric may be of some emotional value for the public but may be clearly out of sync with the demands of realpolitik. The peace move had already been predicted in various commentaries in newspapers and journals.

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The writer is a former Secretary to the Home and Tribal Affairs Department and a retired IG. He holds a Ph.D in Political Science and currently heads the think tank, Good Governance Forum. He can be reached at

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