Tuesday October 19, 2021

Zulfi Bukhari dispels rumours he visited Israel last month

December 17, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfi Bukhari has blatantly rebuffed fake propaganda on social media against him that he visited Tel Aviv in November.

In a statement here on Wednesday, he said: “Media which is clearly Indian and Israel sponsored and shows the opposition utter frustration to create some controversy. “If it is directed against me, I would like to clarify that I was in Rawalpindi with the deputy commissioner on the day and pictures of the event are also available.

“I feel pity on the opposition for stooping to this low. Prime Minister Imran Khan has made Pakistan position very clear on the issue and we all stand by it,” he said. An Israeli newspaper claimed that an adviser of Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Tel Aviv in November on his British passport to relay an official message that proposed normalisation of ties between Pakistan and Israel in return for its support “to halt down Pakistan’s current cold situation with the Arab countries as well as to support it on many international issues”, claimed foreign media reports. According to a global think-tank director, the visit took place in the last week of Nov. “The PM’s adviser [sent to Israel] lives in the UK and has also close relations with the Trump administration.”

According to the report, the unnamed adviser was welcomed by the Israeli officials at the airport as the visit was approved by the US. The adviser was escorted to the “foreign ministry of Israel where he met several political officials and diplomats and delivered the message of the Pakistani PM”, the reports claimed.

“He stayed a few days in Israel where he met with the director of Israeli intelligence Mossad Yossi Cohen and delivered a secret message of Pakistan Army chief,” it went on to claim.

According to the reports that cite unnamed Israeli sources, Pakistan has sought the support of Israel to “halt down the current cold situation with the Arab countries as well as to support it in many international issues such as the FATF as well as Indian lobbying against Pakistan”.

“In return, Pak would start political ties at a slow pace due to the fear of religious bloc within the country,” they claimed, adding that the offer was welcomed by the state of Israel. Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has not responded to these reports yet. However, the FO has many times rejected the reports pertaining to the normalisation of ties with Israel as baseless.