ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday responded to former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal’s tweet on the rumoured arrival of an alleged ‘Israeli aircraft’ in Islamabad a few days ago.
An Israeli journalist earlier this week sparked a storm of speculation on social media when he tweeted that an aircraft flew from Tel Aviv to Islamabad.
Avi Scharf, editor of Israeli newspaper Haaretz, said in his tweet that the alleged plane did not directly fly from the Israeli capital into Islamabad. Instead, 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.
The tweet triggered a range of rumours on social media, with PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal one of many seeking an explanation from the government on the matter.
Earlier today, Fawad Chaudhry responded to Iqbal’s tweet saying that the government would neither hold any secret dialogue with India nor Israel.
“The reality is that Imran Khan is not Nawaz Sharif nor his cabinet has fake Aristotles like you. We will neither hold any secret dialogue with Modi nor Israel,” the minister replied in Urdu.
“If you were so worried about Pakistan as you pretend to be, we wouldn’t be in this situation. Don’t show fake worry, Pakistan is in safe hands,” Chaudhry lashed out at the former minister.
Iqbal had quoted a BBC report in his tweet. The BBC, after an initial investigation into the matter, established that the aircraft was a ‘Global Express XRS’ built by Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier. It carries the serial number 9394 and was registered in the self-governing British Crown dependency Isle of Man on February 22, 2017. According to its registration details, the aircraft is owned by Multibird Overseas Ltd which is listed in British Virgin Islands. These details rule out the speculation that it was an ‘Israeli’ aircraft.
Journalist Avi Scharf told BBC that the aircraft landed in Islamabad on October 24, Wednesday after taking off from Tel Aviv and making a brief stop in Amman.
Pakistan and Israel do not have diplomatic relations. Hence, airplanes registered in either country are not allowed to enter each other’s airspace.