Islamabad – Rana Sanaullah, the interior minister of Pakistan, has refuted assertions that Islamabad and Israel had commercial ties in response to widely disseminated stories about commodities being supposedly “exported” to the Jewish state.
Sanaullah’s allegation came days after the New York-based American Jewish Congress claimed that a deal between Pakistani-Jewish businessman Fishel Benkhald and three Israeli businessmen resulted in the recent offloading of the first consignment of “food products of Pakistani origin” in Israel.
Moreover, Benkhald used Twitter to post a video of dates, dried fruits, and spices that he is said to have “exported” from Pakistan to the Israeli market. His tweet has subsequently received 2 million views, leading to rumours that the two countries’ relations may be changing.
In an interview with the Independent Urdu news agency that was published on Sunday, Sanaullah said, “We may look into it, but our administration has not authorised anyone (to deal with Israel).” “There is nothing like that.”
Pakistan, which has no diplomatic ties to Israel, has long advocated for the creation of an independent Palestinian state with borders that were “internationally acknowledged parameters” before to the 1967 conflict.
The nation’s Commerce Ministry added that Benkhald had sent food samples to businesses in Jerusalem and Haifa via the UAE in a “personal capacity” and that the reports were “sheer fabrication.”
Benkhald, a Karachi resident who received a Pakistani passport in 2019 despite being a Jew, frequently promotes Pakistan and Israel relations on social media.
The ministry stated that neither the Pakistani government nor any banking or governmental channels were involved.
Calls for an official probe have increased as news of Pakistani exports reaching Israeli markets has gained traction.
The government “must take fast action and inform the people of the problem,” according to senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan.
The chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, stated that even if this is an individual act, it needs to be looked into because rumours are now being circulated in the name of Pakistan.