ISLAMABAD: Former president Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf has said that Pakistan should give a serious thought to building terms with Israel.

"There is nothing to lose by trying to get on Israel's good side," Musharraf, a former army chief, told the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz in an interview carried on its website.

"Pakistan also needs to keep readjusting its diplomatic stand toward Israel based on the mere fact that it exists and is not going away."
That kind of talk could comfort Israel, which is increasingly nervous because Islamist groups opposed to the Jewish state have been making political gains in Arab states following revolts that brought down autocrats in the region.

Israeli officials were not immediately available for comment on Musharraf's remarks.

Musharraf, who resigned in 2008 in disgrace, has said he plans to return to Pakistan this month, despite possible arrest, in order to participate in a parliamentary election due by 2013.

On Sunday, he is scheduled to address a rally via video in the country's biggest city and commercial hub, Karachi, sources in his recently formed All Pakistan Muslim League said.

Speaking in favour of relations with Israel could make Musharraf more unpopular, especially among militants who made several attempts on his life with bombings because of his support for the U.S. "war on terror" following the 9/11 attacks.

Those same groups want the destruction of Israel. (Reuters)