17:27 GMT23 July 2021
Listen Live
    World
    Get short URL
    by
    216
    Subscribe

    There are no diplomatic relations between Tel Aviv and Islamabad, with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan saying that his country “cannot ever accept Israel as long as Palestinians are not given their rights and there is no just settlement”.

    Sayed Zulfi Bukhari, a senior adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, has rejected claims that he paid a secret visit to Israel in November 2020 to meet senior government officials in the country.

    Bukhari tweeted on Monday that he “did not go to Israel”, mocking Israeli and Pakistani news sources that earlier reported about his alleged visit to the Jewish state.

    The remarks came after the Israeli newspaper Hayom claimed that last November, Bukhari left Islamabad for London in order to fly to Israel, where he ostensibly sat down with Foreign Ministry officials as well as then-Mossad Director Yossi Cohen in Tel Aviv.  

    The goal of the alleged talks was to relay messages from Imran Khan and Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa.

    Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan June 4, 2021
    © REUTERS / SAIYNA BASHIR
    Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan June 4, 2021
    Hayom cited an unnamed “source in Islamabad” as saying that Bukhari’s purported visit came following “heavy pressure” from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    The newspaper Haaretz has, meanwhile, reported, that if confirmed, the alleged November 2020 visit by Bukhari “would not be the first contact between the two countries”.

    According to the news outlet, an Israeli business jet landed at an Islamabad airport in 2018, “staying on the ground for ten hours before returning”.

    Pakistan-Israel Standoff

    With no diplomatic relations between Tel Aviv and Islamabad, Pakistan harshly criticised Israel in May for its military actions during the worst escalation of violence in recent years between the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

    Palestinian militants launched several thousand rockets toward Israel, which conducted retaliatory strikes against targets in Gaza. In the Jewish state, 12 people were killed and over 50 were seriously wounded during the flare-up, while the Palestinian death toll stands at 256, with more than 1,900 people injured. The warring sides signed on to an Egypt-brokered ceasefire on 21 May.

    Palestinians return to their houses which were destroyed by Israeli strikes in the recent cross-border violence between Palestinian militants and Israel, following Israel-Hamas truce, in Gaza May 21, 2021
    © REUTERS / IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA
    Palestinians return to their houses which were destroyed by Israeli strikes in the recent cross-border violence between Palestinian militants and Israel, following Israel-Hamas truce, in Gaza May 21, 2021

    In 2020, Pakistani Prime Minister Khan told reporters that Islamabad “cannot ever accept Israel as long as Palestinians are not given their rights and there is no just [Palestinian-Israeli] settlement”.

    In a separate development last year, the US administration unveiled its long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, which was touted by then-US President Donald Trump as “the deal of the century”.

    The proposal envisions a two-state solution, including the recognition of Israeli claims to settler areas in the West Bank, the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the provision of a few neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem for a Palestinian capital. It also offers the Palestinian side $50 billion in infrastructure and investment assistance.

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the proposal out of hand, saying that Jerusalem was “not for sale” and that the deal would be thrown into the “garbage can of history” by the Palestinians.

    Related:

    Pakistan Fends Off Accusations of Anti-Semitism as Foreign Minister Says ‘Israel Has Deep Pockets’
    Pakistan Defense Minister Tweets Threat to Israel in Response to Fake News Story
    FM Claims Pakistan Foiled 'Missile Attack Plotted by India, Israel'
    Tags:
    report, Twitter, relations, visit, Imran Khan, Pakistan, Israel
    Community standardsDiscussion