Pakistan denies establishing relations with Israel

Pakistan rebukes Israeli aircraft reports, denies establishing relations with Israel
2 min read
28 October, 2018
Pakistani officials have denied Israeli media reports that an Israeli aircraft landed in Islamabad, saying there are no intentions to establish relations with Israel.
Israeli media reports claimed an Israeli aircraft landed in Pakistan [Getty]

Pakistan’s president has denied reports that an Israeli aircraft landed in Islamabad, saying the country has no intention of establishing relations with Israel.

"Islamabad is not establishing any kind of relations with Israel," President Arif Alvi said to local media early Sunday.

"Pakistan highlighted atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir and Palestine before the world. Islamabad is not establishing any kind of relations with Israel," he added.

On Thursday, Israeli journalist Avi Scharf tweeted that an Israeli business jet flew from Tel Aviv to Islamabad where it was on the ground for 10 hours, before flying back to Israel, sparking outrage among Pakistanis on social media.

Opposition factions demanded the Islamabad government to provide an explanation for the "secret Israeli mission".

Pakistani officials were quick to debunk the tweet. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi dismissed the reports as fake and baseless.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also rejected the reports and said the "government would not negotiate in secret with either Israel or India".

The controversy came as Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu visited Oman for the first time.

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Netanyahu's office said in a statement that Netanyahu, who is currently facing a graft probe that could unseat him from power, had been invited by Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said after lengthy communications.

The visit caused outrage, mainly with Palestinians who for decades have been told their plight for freedom is the pinnacle of the pan-Arab dream.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which runs Gaza, lambasted Oman for allowing Netanyahu to visit, saying it accelerated "normalisation with the Israeli entity" and was a "stab in the back" for Palestinians.

Senior Fatah official Munir al-Jaghoob condemned the "gratuitous normalisation with the occupation" while Palestinian land is still under occupation, Israeli media reported.

Mohammed Shtayyeh, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said Netanyahu's visit signalled the death of the Arab Peace Initiative.

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