Says it was 'a kind of study tour'
Maulana Ajmal Qadri, a former Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader, claimed on Thursday that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had sent him to Israel to hold talks with Tel Aviv officials.
“It was a kind of study tour,” Qadri told SAMAA TV’s Ali Haider on his show. He said he had met senior officials of the Israeli foreign ministry and cabinet members during his visit.
He, however, didn’t specify the year he visited Israel.
“The people of then foreign ministry wanted to know whether Pakistan could develop relations with Israel or not,” he said, adding that they wanted to know whether any such relationship with Israel would be in Pakistan’s favour.
“Actually, the trade affairs came under discussion the most because Pakistani textiles [brands] are very popular among Israelis,” the cleric said. He said he had told the Israeli officials that Pakistan can’t have any relationship with Israel until Tel Aviv gives Islamabad “assurances” about the fate of Palestine.
According to Qadri, he met the then PM Sharif twice after concluding his visit to Israel and he found him “very passionate” to develop a relationship with the Jewish state.
He, however, believed that Sharif had sent him to Israel after consulting “certain quarters”.
I told the prime minister twice that Pakistan’s parliament should be consulted or a national dialogue be held to take a decision in this regard.
“Mian sahib was very passionate. But the political situation made the affairs go to the background,” he said.
“There were other quarters with whom consultations were held and the decision was taken.”