An advisor to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Israel in late November and discussed moving toward better ties between the countries, which do not formal relations. A former aide of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan made a secret visit to Israel last November for meetings with foreign ministry officials and the then Mossad chief, according to an Israeli media report on Monday.

The Man is the Pakistani businessman

Sayed Zulfi Bukhari, a British Pakistani businessman who served as Khan’s special assistant on overseas Pakistanis till May this year, conveyed a message from Pakistani premier to Israeli foreign ministry officials and another message from Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa to then Israeli spy agency chief Yossi Conen, Israel Hayom newspaper reported.

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Advantage of his British passport

The report said Bukhari, who lives in the UK, arrived at Ben Gurion airport from Islamabad on a connecting flight to London in the last week of November last year, taking advantage of his British passport. He travelled to Tel Aviv for the meetings and the Pakistan-Israel contacts were the outcome of “heavy pressure from the UAE,” the report added. In December 2020, the newspaper had reported about a secret visit to Israel by a “senior advisor to the leader of a large Muslim country” despite the two countries having no diplomatic relations.

Attempts were made to improve diplomatic relations

At that time, the newspaper did not name the Muslim country involved. The visit to Tel Aviv by the Pakistani official came against the backdrop of key Muslim countries such as UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco normalising relations with Israel and a debate within Pakistan’s political and diplomatic circles about re-evaluating the country’s position on Israel. However, Imran Khan had said in an interview in August last year that Pakistan “cannot ever accept Israel as long as Palestinians are not given their rights.”

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