ISLAMABAD: As speculations on an Israeli plane landing in Islamabad flew across Pakistan and elsewhere, Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry Saturday clarified that Pakistan would not hold secret talks neither with Modi nor with Israel.
He made the clarification in response to a tweet by former minister and senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal, who sought the government’s clarification on the matter.
He said the PML-N leaders were sighting stars during the day time and Israeli planes at night after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to the nation. He said there was neither any danger to Islam nor democracy in Pakistan. He added that there was no threat to the 18th Amendment as well, but the NRO alliance was in danger. “The NRO is witnessing darkness all around,” he said.
About the speculations on Israeli plane, the minister said spreading fake news was against the journalistic ethics and code of conduct and a disservice to nation. “This malicious and baseless news is an attempt by Pakistan’s enemies to sabotage Kashmir Black Day, highlighting Indian atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, speaking at a workers convention in his native town Jhelum, the minister vehemently denied that an Israeli plane had arrived in Pakistan, citing the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which rejected reports that any such plane had landed in the country.
The Authority also issued a statement of its spokesman, who said that no Israeli plane had landed at any of Pakistan’s airports and that there was no truth whatsoever in the rumour because no such plane landed at any airport of Pakistan.
Fawad regretted that gimmickry of arrival of Israeli premier to Islamabad was unleashed and this way, an attempt was made to make the government as well as the military controversial. “Through a tweet of an Israeli journalist, propaganda was made,” Fawad maintained.
An Israeli journalist sparked a storm of speculations on social media when he tweeted that an aircraft flew from Tel Aviv to Islamabad, via Amman. He claimed in a tweet that the plane did not directly fly from the Israeli capital into Islamabad. Instead, he claimed, it followed a ‘trick flight route’ by landing in Amman briefly to make it look like an Amman-Islamabad flight rather than a Tel Aviv-Islamabad flight. This prompted Ahsan Iqbal to seek an explanation from the government in this connection and Fawad responded to him through a tweet that “the real situation is that Imran Khan is neither Nawaz Sharif nor his cabinet has fake Aristotles like you. We will neither hold any secret dialogue with Modi nor Israel.” Fawad’s tweet was in Urdu.
“If you were so worried about Pakistan as you pretend to be, we wouldn’t have been in this situation. Don’t pretend to be worried, Pakistan is in safe hands,” he asserted.
Ahsan Iqbal had referred to a BBC report, which is available on its website.
Senior journalist Syed Talat Hussain had also tweeted a report of landing of an Israeli plane and purported return of a passenger spreading on social media. He said the government had to explain it in yes or no. He said silence will lead to bigger issues and Iran and other countries would be listening this rumour-like report with ‘great interest’.
It is pertinent to mention that both Pakistan and Israel do not have diplomatic relations. Hence, airplanes registered in either country are not permitted to enter each other’s airspace.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also dismissed reports of an Israeli aircraft landing in Pakistan as fake and baseless.
Addressing a press conference in Multan, Qureshi said that something which is not even real does not warrant a response.