A delegation from Pakistan headed by a former senior minister is currently on a secret visit to Israel—a country which has no diplomatic relations with Pakistan, according to media reports.
According to Jerusalem-based i24WEWS, the delegation of nine members is led by Nasim Ashraf, the former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board and an ex-minister in former prime minister Pervez Musharraf’s government.
The members of the delegation include several Pakistani-origin Americans, a British Pakistani imam, and a prominent journalist from Karachi. While the rest are from Pakistani, whose identities were not revealed.
The delegation held talks on water technologies and conducted tours around Israel on the themes of geopolitics, history and religion, heritage, culture, and technology.
A meeting between the group and Israeli President Isaac Herzog has been scheduled for later this week, the Israel-based news outlet reported.
Notably, the visit of the Pakistani delegation comes months after an anchor, Ahmed Quraishi, from the country’s state-run broadcaster PTV was axed after it came to the fore that he was part of the Pakistani-American delegation visiting the Jewish state.
Israel is also reportedly hosting the Indonesian delegation, which is headed by a “senior official”, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Israel has been seeking to build good relations with the Muslim majority after the formalisation of the 2020 Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and four Arab countries.
Pakistan and Israel have no diplomatic relations. However, earlier this year, Jerusalem took part in a large-scale naval exercise in the Red Sea led by the US 5th Fleet alongside Pakistan and a number of other countries with which it has no diplomatic ties, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Comoros, Djibouti, Somalia, and Yemen.
Moreover, Israel has been making overtures to another Muslim nation, Indonesia, which was evident in a series of meetings in the last few months of 2021, with an emphasis on cooperation in trade and tourism.
(With inputs from agencies)
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