Imran rebuts claims of contacting Malik Riaz for settlement with Zardari

Imran Khan audio

Claims was pressurised to recognise Israel

Former prime minister Imran Khan has rebutted claims that he contacted businessman Malik Riaz for reconciliation with the PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

The PTI chairman’s response comes after an audio of a conversation between Riaz and Zardari was leaked, where the businessman could be heard giving the PPP leader a message reportedly from the PTI chairman.

The audio’s date and time have not been confirmed as of yet, but Riaz could be heard saying that Khan has requested him to mediate between the two political leaders.

But while speaking to digital journalists in Peshawar, Imran Khan refuted claims of him wanting to patch up with Zardari.

In response to a question, the ex-premier said whilst in power, there was “a lot of pressure” on his government to accept Israel as a sovereign state — amid the Abraham Accords.

“We were sent a message that you should think about your country […] but at this time, I cannot reveal who had sent the message to us,” the ousted prime minister said.

Although he refrained from disclosing the names of the people, Khan told journalists that a United States “influenced lobby” wants Muslim states to accept Israel. The ex-premier’s comments come as Israel President Isaac Herzog said that he had had an “amazing experience” while meeting a delegation, mainly comprised of Pakistani expatriates, living in the United States.

But while responding to media queries, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs categorically rejected the notion of any delegation from Pakistan visiting Israel, stressing that Pakistan’s position on the Palestinian issue is clear and there is no change in it.