An alleged delegation involving two Pakistanis living outside their home country traveled to Israel, sparking anger at home.
Pakistan has no relationship with Israel, and that official position remains unchanged, govt says [Getty]
Pakistan has firmly rejected claims that it approved a visit by several of its nationals to Israel, according to local media, stressing that it has no relationship with the country.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog confirmed to the World Economic Forum last week that he had met with an “expatriate Pakistani delegation” a few weeks ago, which included two nationals living in the United States.
The Pakistani government denied that the group was on an official visit.
“Pakistan’s position on the Palestinian issue is clear and unambiguous. There is no change in our policy on which there is full national consensus. Pakistan strongly supports the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” the Pakistani foreign ministry said in a statement.
🔴 From the Economic Forum of @Davos the President of the State of Israel @Isaac_Herzog reveals having spoken with delegations from Pakistan 🇵🇰 and other delegations from Muslim countries in this region. Israel has no diplomatic relations with Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/2kGpFuR5L6
— Jonathan Serero (@sererojonathan) May 25, 2022
The alleged delegation included Pakistani journalist Ahmed Qureshi and Pakistani Jew Fischel Ben Khald. Both are said to have entered the country with Pakistani passports.
Herzog said Pakistanis are “welcome” to travel to Israel and he was pleasantly surprised by the trip.
A Pakistani American delegation visited Israel. The delegation met with senior Israeli leaders, including the Israeli president.
Some “famous” faces from the Pakistani media fraternity are also part of the delegation. Some even work for state media. pic.twitter.com/RUVJGX9PgV
— OSINT Insider (@OSINT_Insider) May 11, 2022
However, the visit sparked outrage in Pakistan because Islamabad does not officially recognize Israel.
Pakistani President and former Prime Minister Tehreek-i-Insaf Imran Khan said on Sunday the leaders posed a threat to the country’s security, alleging they had been “instructed to recognize Israel” and compromise with the government. India on the Kashmir issue. .co/h4zERkOwWk
—Dawn.com (@dawn_com) May 30, 2022
Several prominent members of the Pakistani political class and civil society have criticized the trip.
Former human rights minister Shireen Mazari said she was “shocked” by the inclusion of journalist Ahmed Quraishi, alleging he is closely linked to a “state institution of a sensitive nature”.
Meanwhile, former prime minister Imran Khan, who was ousted in April this year, has claimed that the current government is “in charge of recognizing Israel”.