ISLAMABAD: The former special assistant to the prime minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari on Thursday sent a 100 million Pounds defamation notice to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari for raising objections over his alleged visit to Israel.
Though Bukhari rubbishes the reports, but speaking at a presser last month, Bilawal had demanded the government to reveal the details of Bukhari’s alleged visit to Israel. In the wake of reports about Bukhari’s alleged visit to Israel, the PPP chairman had said: “There’re reports that an aeroplane flew to Israel from Pakistan, so the government must clarify the details of the route before the nation.”
He had questioned that if a plane had flown to Israel via Pakistan, who granted permission for that.
However, Bukhari, in a statement on Twitter, displayed the defamation notice sent to Bilawal, and once again denied any visit to Israel. In his statement on Twitter, he said after consultations with his legal team, he decided to slap the PPP chairman with a defamation notice for his recent ‘irresponsible remarks.’
“His [Bilawal’s] poor understanding about most things again made him blurt out things fed to him, provoking issues he knows nothing about,” said Bukhari.
In the notice issued to Bilawal, Bukhari has asked him to acknowledge receipt of the notice, withdraw his comments clearly, publicly apologise on national media, take an oath to not utter such defamatory remarks against him again, and propose payment for damages caused.
The legal notice also states that if Bilawal does not do the above within 14 days, legal action would be taken against him. Last month, Bukhari and the Foreign Office had denied reports that he had secretly visited Israel “to pass on a message of an important person.”
“[I] did not go to Israel. Funny bit is Pakistani paper says I went to Israel based on “Israeli news source” and Israeli paper says I went to Israel based on a “Pakistani source” — wonder who this imaginative Pakistani source is,” Bukhari tweeted, while rejecting the media reports.
He quipped that “apparently” he was the “only one” who has been “kept out of the loop” regarding his visit.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office also rejected reports regarding Bukhari’s visit to Israel. “These reports are baseless and misleading. No such visit to Israel has been undertaken,” said FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri.
He also informed the media that Bukhari has also issued a rejection of the report.
The spokesperson also said the FO had also rebutted ‘similar false reports’ on December 18 last year.
Israeli paper Israel Hayom had claimed that Bukhari flew to Israel from London.
The report claimed that Bukhari arrived at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport and was later transferred to Tel Aviv.
The report claimed that Bukhari during his visit had met Israeli foreign ministry officials as well as Mossad director Yossi Cohen in Tel Aviv. It claimed that the former aide of PM Imran Khan had gone to Israel to pass on a message from an “important person”. The Israeli publication, citing a ‘source in Islamabad’ said Bukhari had visited the country on his British passport due to ‘heavy pressure’ from the United Arab Emirates.
The report also claimed that the visit came as the two countries are expected to participate in joint naval exercises with the US Navy in the Black Sea.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021