Pakistan says it has nothing to do with expatriates' visit to Israel

Pakistan says it has nothing to do with expatriates' visit to Israel
2 min read
31 May, 2022
An alleged delegation involving two Pakistanis living outside of their home country visited Israel, sparking anger at home.
Pakistan does not have any relations with Israel, and this official stance remains unchanged, according to the government [Getty]

Pakistan has strongly rejected claims that it endorsed a visit by several of its nationals to Israel, according to local media, stressing that it has no relations with the country.

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog at the World Economic Forum last week confirmed he had met with a "Pakistani delegation of expats" a few weeks ago, which included two nationals living in the United States. 

The Pakistani government has denied the group was on an official visit.

"Pakistan's position on the Palestinian issue is clear and unambiguous. There is no change whatsoever in our policy on which there is complete national consensus. Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination," said Pakistan’s foreign office in a statement

The alleged delegation included Pakistani journalist Ahmed Qureshi and Jewish Pakistani Fischel Ben Khald. Both reportedly entered the country on Pakistani passports.

Herzog said the Pakistanis were "very welcome" to travel to Israel and he was pleasantly surprised by the trip.

However, the visit sparked outrage in Pakistan as Islamabad does not officially recognise Israel. 

Several prominent members of Pakistan's political class and civil society have criticised the trip.

Former human rights minister Shireen Mazari expressed her "shock" at the inclusion of journalist Ahmed Quraishi, alleging he is closely linked to a "state institution of sensitive nature".

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was ousted from power in April this year, claimed the current government has been "tasked with recognising Israel".