The anxieties of Pakistani political/military leadership vis-à-vis Washington, can be extremely embarrassing at the best of times. They seem desperately keen at all times to be in the good books of the US Administration.
Recently we had to suffer Benazir Bhutto extolling US’s beneficial impact in Iraq on BBC, now we have a besieged Musharraf suddenly offering his services to help resolve the sixty year old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In the interview aired late Friday on Dubai-based Al-Arabya television, Musharraf said he was "enthusiastic" to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and would go to Israel if his offer to mediate was accepted.
"It will be an honor if I can contribute in any way," said Musharraf. "If there was a role that I can play, and both sides accept that role, yes, indeed, I would like to play that role."
The Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post had this to say:
Israel has rejected the surprise offer by Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
An official in the Prime Minister's Office described the offer as "a little ridiculous," noting that there are no diplomatic relations between Islamabad and Jerusalem.
"We have an Arab initiative. Why would we need a Pakistani initiative?" the official asked, adding that mediation efforts would be welcomed from any state that had ties with Israel.
Sources in Jerusalem said that although Prime Minister Ehud Olmert welcomed the possibility of dialogue with Saudi Arabia, which also has no diplomatic ties with Israel, Saudi Arabia cannot be compared with Pakistan. Saudi Arabia, together with Egypt, is one of the leaders of the Arab and Muslim world, and is on a different level, as far as Israel is concerned, than Pakistan.
A more conciliatory note was sounded by Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev who said Pakistan's involvement would be welcomed, but that Musharraf's effectiveness would likely be limited.