The Pakistani government disputed having any political or commercial ties with Israel after a Jewish merchant in Pakistan posted a film of products he shipped to Israel, claiming “there is no change in the policy.”
In response to a Jewish businessman’s post about effectively shipping food samples to Jerusalem and Haifa, Pakistan on Sunday refuted reports of commerce with Israel.
Fishel Benkhald, a Jew from Karachi in southern Pakistan, gained notoriety for posting about his first cargo of kosher food to Israel. There are no formal relations between the two nations.
Salutations from a Pakistani to me. He claimed last week, “I shipped the first shipment of Pakistani culinary goods to the Israeli market.
A film footage of Benkhald visiting an Israeli bazaar was posted online. He passes by booths that have Hebrew-written labels on receptacles of dates, preserved fruit, and seasonings.
Pakistan refuted having any kind of business or political ties to Israel. In answer to questions from the media regarding mutual commerce, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, stated: “There is no change in the policy.”
Pakistan has long held the stance that it will not recognize Israel until an autonomous Palestinian state has been formed within the pre-1967 boundaries, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Pakistan formally supports a two-state settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
Rumors of mutual commerce, according to Pakistan’s Commerce Ministry, are “sheer propaganda.”
It said in a statement that it “neither has any trade relations with Israel nor does it intend to do so.”
In 2017, Benkhald’s national Pakistani papers had his faith status changed from Islam to Judaism. He is a member of the nation’s declining Jewish population and lives in a 220 million-person country with a majority-Muslim population. He is the first Pakistani to have formally conducted a journey there with the approval of Islamabad, despite a declaration on his Pakistani visa that claims the document is acceptable for travel to all nations barring Israel.
“Trade, culture, tourists, and food bind people together. Let’s create connections, Benkhald wrote in his post.
According to the Commerce Ministry, Benkhald sent food samples to three businessmen in Jerusalem and Haifa via the United Arab Emirates, where he had previously encountered them at food fairs. The cargo was not authorized by the Pakistani government, according to the ministry, and no financial or formal channels were utilized.
The American Jewish Congress had previously hailed the shipment’s news, noting that it might have broader economic ramifications for both nations as well as the entire area. It claimed that Benkhald was at the center of a modest but rapidly expanding Pakistani kosher food export business.
However, perceptions of Benkhald’s endeavor in Pakistan varied. Shireen Mazari, a prominent member of the former prime minister Imran Khan’s political party and a former minister for human rights, attacked the administration and questioned how a Pakistani national could ship to Israel directly and travel there on a Pakistani visa.
Benkhald was allowed to travel to Israel under Khan, according to Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, an ecumenical spokesman for the current government.
AJC never cited formal commerce between Pakistan and Israel in their news statement, according to the Commerce Ministry of Pakistan.
Fishel Benkhald, a Jewish Pakistani who attended food shows abroad, was mentioned as having sent food samples to three businesspeople in Jerusalem and Haifa via the UAE in his individual role.
However, neither a financial nor formal route was utilized, and the Pakistani government did not back it.