ISLAMABAD (P.Today): The Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to utilise all its resources and manpower to improve the country’s image in the eyes of the world and solve problems of the Pakistanis living abroad.
This directive was issued in a meeting chaired by Haji Adeel Ahmed here at the parliament house. The meeting was attended by Leader of the House Jehangir Badr, Farhatullah Babar, Sehar Kamran, Syed Mustafa Kamal, Sughra Imam and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Hyderi.
The committee said that instead of hiring buildings for embassies, buildings should be built on the land allocated for embassy buildings and no payment should be made to embassies for paying rent of buildings. The committee observed that expatriates were facing many problems and nobody was taking any step for their redress.
The committee said many Pakistanis who have had completed their jail terms were still languishing in prisons in Gulf countries. It termed the performance of the Pak embassies and their attached departments below the mark and said there was need to take steps to improve the country’s image and help solve the problems of overseas Pakistanis. It also asked the ministry to provide a list of all officers posted abroad for past 10 years and that of dual national holders. The Senate body also recommended that there should be time limit on foreign postings and all officers should return after completion of their tenures.
The committee was of the view that being the country’s representatives, the embassies should be given targets to achieve. “War has been forced on us and we are its victim, so it is responsibility of the embassies to make the world realise that we have lost thousands of lives in this war.” The committee recommended that appointment of diplomats be done on the basis of expertise and experience. The committee opined that in jobs’ provision, Balochistan and other backward areas should not be compared with big cities and special concession given to them.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Ammad, Secretary Foreign Affairs Jalil Abbas Jilani and senior officers of the ministry.