Both the Foreign Office (FO) and Ministry of Trade and Commerce on Sunday denied reports of any trade between Pakistan and Israel. The American Jewish Congress (AJC) had claimed that a bilateral trade had occurred, involving the offloading of the first shipment carrying Pakistani-originated food products in Israel.
Rejecting the purported trade, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that Pakistan does not have diplomatic or trade ties with Israel. “There is no change in the policy,” she clarified.
The Ministry of Commerce spokesperson also stressed that rumors about Pakistan-Israel trade were pure propaganda and that Pakistan has neither established nor intends to establish trade relations with Israel.
Secretary of Commerce and Trade Sualeh Ahmad Faruqui confirmed that Pakistan did not send any export consignment to Israel, and the customs officials at the Karachi Port supported his statement.
The alleged trade was carried out by Pakistani-Jewish businessman Fishel BenKhald, based in Karachi, who exported a consignment of dates, dry fruit, and spices from Pakistan to Israel via the UAE.
However, the shipment was marked for the UAE and not Israel, and the deal was made through a private transaction. The matter was unduly highlighted and treated as official trade, despite the fact that it was not a direct trade on Pakistan’s behalf.
Fishel BenKhald is a Pakistani citizen with a Jewish background who advocates for trade ties between Israel and Pakistan and is engaged in the kosher food industry.