Dr Moeed Yusuf, Pakistan National Security Adviser (NSA), has categorically denied allegations that he met with Israeli officials in secret.
After the Foreign Office rejected an Israeli media claim that he visited Tel Aviv in November and spoke with Mossad head, the NSA issued a clarification.
“Very disappointed to be informed that the leader of a major political party has insinuated that I had secretly met Israeli officials. Let me state categorically and on record that I have not had any meetings with any Israeli officials nor have I visited Israel,” Moeed Yusuf tweeted.
He said the prime minister has made it clear that Pakistan will continue to support Palestinians’ right to a fair two-state solution.
“The rest are all conspiracy theories. Enough said.”
The Prime Minister has been very clear on the matter. Pakistan shall continue to stand for Palestinians’ right to a just two State solution. The rest are all conspiracy theories. Enough said. 2/2
— Moeed W. Yusuf (@YusufMoeed) June 28, 2021
Zulfi Bukhari, the former special assistant to the prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, and the Foreign Office both denied on Monday that he had covertly visited Israel “to pass on a message of an important person.”
“[I] did not go to Israel. Funny bit is Pakistani paper says I went to Israel based on “Israeli news source” and Israeli paper says I went to Israel based on a “Pakistani source” — wonder who this imaginative Pakistani source is,” Bukhari tweeted while rejecting the media reports.
He quipped that “apparently” he was the “only one” who has “kept out of the loop” regarding his visit.
Meanwhile, rumours of Bukhari’s travel to Israel have been dismissed by the Foreign Office.
“These reports are baseless and misleading. No such visit to Israel has been undertaken,” said FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri. He also informed the media that Bukhari has also issued a rejection of the report.
The FO has already rebutted “similar false reports” on December 18 of last year, according to the spokesman.
Bukhari allegedly travelled to Israel from London, according to Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom. According to the source, Bukhari landed at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport before being transported to Tel Aviv.
According to the article, the former SAPM met with Israeli foreign ministry officials as well as Mossad Director Yossi Cohen in Tel Aviv during his visit.
It further alleged that a former adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had travelled to Israel to deliver a message from an “important person.”
According to an Israeli newspaper quoting a “source in Islamabad,” Bukhari entered the nation with a British passport owing to “heavy pressure” from the UAE.
The editor of another Israeli daily spread the storey on social media.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who had criticised the government over the action, had stated that the government must”reveal the details of Zulfi Bukhari’s alleged visit to Israel.”
“There are reports that an aeroplane flew to Israel from Pakistan, so the government must clarify the details of the route before the nation,” Bilawal had said.
He questioned: “If a plane had flown to Israel via Pakistan, then who granted permission for that?”
He went on to say that the whole narrative is dubious since the Israeli publication published the article after receiving permission from the country’s defence minister.
Meanwhile, PML-N leader Khurram Dastagir has asked the Foreign Office for an explanation.
While appearing on the Geo News programme Capital Talk, the former defence minister said that Bukhari was the SAPM at the time the aircraft took off and that the government should reject the allegation.