Pakistani TV presenter’s visit to Israel sparks uproar in Islamabad
Updated: 09 June 2022 10:13 STI
Tel Aviv [Israel]June 9 (ANI): A Pakistani television presenter, who sparked an outcry during his visit to Israel, has been fired by his employer, the state-owned Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV).
According to Sergio Restelli, a political adviser, author and geopolitical expert, Pakistani presenter Ahmed Quraishi’s visit to Israel was a ploy to cover up Pakistan’s calculated decision to reach out to Jerusalem without angering the public, especially those of extremists.
Quraishi was part of a delegation of Pakistani Americans to Israel on a goodwill visit. Another Pakistani citizen on the delegation was a Jewish citizen, Fishel Benkhald.
Since PTV is a government-run television channel, Quraishi’s presence in Israel has caused something of a small storm, with government and opposition leaders denying and condemning the action. But no one in the current government, and in the previous government, is willing to clarify how a presenter from a government-run broadcaster, even under contract, could travel to Israel without state permission, he said. said Restelli in The Times of Israel. .
This question takes on importance in the presence of Fishel Benkhald who was the first Pakistani to obtain official authorization to visit Jewish holy sites from the government of Imran Khan.
He also sent a confidant with two messages, one to the Prime Minister of Israel and the other from General Qamar Bajwa to Mossad chief Yossi Cohen in Tel Aviv in November 2020. The confidant was Zulfi Bukhari, a close collaborator of Imran Khan.
According to Pakistani broadcaster Geo TV, Bukhari stayed in Tel Aviv for a few days to work out how to prepare the ground to break the ice between the two countries, The Times of Israel reported.
Pakistan has been reaching out to Israel since the days of Zia-ul Haq. Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri met his Israeli counterpart Silvan Shalom in Turkey in 2005. In the same year, then-president and army chief Pervez Musharraf met with Israeli president and veteran soldier Ariel Sharon in New York.
Although the meeting did not result in a breakthrough, the relationship took a deeper direction. In fact, it is an open secret in political and military circles about Pakistan’s clandestine moves to open relations with Israel.
For Pakistan, the Israeli bone was hard to digest. Several Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan, had stood aside from Israel on the question of Palestine.
In 2020, the equation changed with the breaking of ranks of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and the signing of a US-brokered agreement, the Abraham Accords, with Israel. Morocco and Sudan have joined the signatories of the Abraham Accords.
These changes leave Pakistan isolated in the Islamic world, given that it has been trying, without much success, for more than four decades to find a way to engage with Jerusalem, without upsetting its image as an austere Sunni country and ardent supporter of the Palestinian cause. (ANI)