Top adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister held secret meeting in Israel

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Top adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister held secret meeting in Israel

Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari flew to the Jewish state where he met with a number of senior officials along with the then Chief of Mossad Yossi Cohen.

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Imran Khan hosted by Oxford University Pakistan Society in January 2010.
Imran Khan hosted by Oxford University Pakistan Society in January 2010.

A senior adviser to the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has held a secret meeting in Israel with several officials as well as the head of Mossad.

Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari flew to Israel last November where he met with a number of senior officials along with the then Chief of Mossad Yossi Cohen, it can be revealed.

A source close to Bukhari confirmed to Jewish News that a “productive” meeting between the pair went ahead.

It is understood that the talks went ahead after pressure was put on Pakistan by the United Arab Emirates.

Reports in Israel on Monday suggested Bukhari had used a British passport to fly from London to Tel Aviv to attend the talks.

At the meeting a message was passed to Israel from Prime Minister Khan himself.

The two countries are expected to take part in a naval exercise in the Black Sea, along with Egypt, UAE, Tunisia , Morocco and Turkey, with the US navy also involved.

Pakistan has not yet recognised Israel as an official country.

After reports of the meeting emerged on Monday, the senior Pakistani official made a public claim that he “didn’t go to Israel” in a tweet.

Zulfi Bukhari added:” 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.
“Apparently, I’m the only one who was kept out of the loop.”

Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari’s tweet denying it

But a report in Israel Hayom said Buhari met with foreign ministry officials as well as Mossad Director Yossi Cohen in Tel Aviv in order to pass on messages from Khan and army Chief of Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Another source confirmed to Jewish News that the meeting in Israel had been the subject of further discussion in Pakistan after it took place.

In an interview with a Turkish television station earlier this year PM Khan said there are two reasons why Pakistan cannot recognize Israel.

“The situation in Kashmir is exactly the same situation in Palestine. If we recognize Israel’s takeover of Palestine territories, then we also have to recognize what India has done in Kashmir, so we completely lose moral standing,” he said.

In May Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was accused of propagating antisemitic tropes during an interview with CNN.

During a segment on Israel-Palestine conflict, Qureshi told CNN anchor Bianna Golodryga, who is Jewish herself, that Israel “controls the media” and has “deep pockets”.

“Israel is losing out,” Qureshi said. “They’re losing the media war, despite their connections…The tide is turning,” he added.

When Golodryga asked him to clarify what he meant, Qureshi responded that the country had “deep pockets”.

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