LONDON/TEL AVIV/ISLAMABAD: A recent Twitter thread caused a diplomatic quandary, leading to firm denials by Pakistani officials but the surreptitious counter-terrorism expert who broke this news stands by his claims in an exclusive conversation with The Pakistan Daily.
Born and raised in Pakistan, Noor Dahri is a man of many shadows. Behind a thick beard styled in the way of the Sunnah lies a “well connected” analyst who has studied forensics from the University of Oxford and counter terrorism from Israel.
“I can understand Pakistan’s frustrations if their officials deny my news, before accepting Israel, even the UAE and Bahrain denied the same way,” Dahri told this correspondent frankly, referring to the historic Abraham Accord.
In private conversations, senior Pakistani officials have alleged that if Pakistan accepts Israel, its stance on Kashmir might suffer as a result but Dahri rejected this school of thought in a conversation with The Pakistan Daily.
“A two state solution for Palestine was not a Pakistani condition, it was Arab condition, now Arab states have left this demand, Pakistan should follow suit.”
In the infamous Twitter thread which caused a global scandal, Dahri had cited senior Israeli intelligence officials as his source for the information but when this correspondent asked whether Dahri had consulted Pakistani intelligence to corroborate the news Dahri said: “I did not speak to Pakistani intelligence but to people considered close to the establishment who confirmed the information. I tried to confirm it from multiple sources.”
Dahri expects that a formal diplomatic channel between Pakistan and Israel should be established in “months, not years”.
Dahri used a doctored picture of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in his tweet, implying that the minister boarded a British Airways flight B?0165 from London to Tel Aviv on a foreign passport.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi however, does not have a foreign passport as per his records in the Election Commission of Pakistan.and Neither has Shah Mahmood Qureshi been to the UK in November as per sources privy to the Foreign Minister’s schedule.
It seems unlikely that the Foreign Minister could undertake a secret visit without the Pakistani media in London being aware of the matter, according to Pakistani journalists based in London whose sources in Heathrow include taxi drivers, ticketing officers and Heathrow officials.
Another speculation was made on social media that it was Zulfi Bukhari, a special assistant to the Prime Minister, however, Zulfi, who was in London recently, has rejected the claims.
The claims made by Dahri have drawn criticism from pakistan, with retired investment banker and Pakistani patriot, Mir Mohammad Ali Khan terming Dahri’s claims as “absolute propaganda and completely false”.
In an exclusive conversation with The Pakistan Daily, Mir Mohammad Ali Khan said: “Dahri will be sued in the United Kingdom. He has to provide evidence to substantiate his claims.”
Khan further stated that Dahri’s organisation COVINT was providing services to the Indian national security apparatus which could not be possible without vetting from India’s intelligence agencies, including the infamous Research & Analysis Wing (RAW).
“His Twitter handle gives the impression that he is an advisor to the United States Homeland Security but he’s actually referring to a small magazine called Homeland Security. If you look at his Twitter, you will see evidence that he has been spewing anti Pakistan propaganda for many years.”
Dahri denied the claims of being associated with any Indian intelligence agency, asking for proof regarding these allegations he termed baseless.
“COVINTS is a private defence organisation which works with Indian think tanks, not any intelligence agency. I am a British citizen, a counter-terrorism expert and free to work with anyone who hires my services, does that make me an Indian agent?” Dahri said, vehemently denying any association with RAW. He further stated that he had never even visited India.
According to Dahri, Pakistan needed to rise up from the rhetoric of the past and move towards stabilisation by ending hostility with Israel and formally establishing diplomatic relations with the country.
“If the Arabs can come out of this, so can Pakistan. And because Pakistan is a nuclear armed country, it will send a strong message to the world that Pakistan is looking for peace,” Dahri told this correspondent.