Govt to bring reforms in foreign ministry

Published: November 9, 2018
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. PHOTO: AFP

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to prepare a comprehensive summary based on the recommendations sought from officers to bring reforms in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The decision was taken during a high-level meeting, chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, at the foreign ministry, according to sources on Thursday.

The four-hour-long meeting on institutional and civil service reforms was attended by all additional secretaries, directors general, other officials and recently retired officers of the foreign ministry.

It was decided in the meeting to increase the authority and resources of diplomats appointed to various countries and give merit fundamental importance in appointment of officers while ensuring economic development and trade remain on top of the foreign policy agenda.

The sources said that reservations over the appointment of a large number of non-career diplomats abroad were expressed. Appointments on political basis in nine countries had been withdrawn, while appointments of diplomats would be done on merit and non-career diplomats would be discouraged.

It was also decided in the meeting that the duration for the appointment of diplomats would be determined and no change would be made before it ended.

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It was decided that diplomats would be appointed to countries on the basis of their educational skills, capability and regional knowledge. “It will be made mandatory for diplomats to have complete grip of local language and special courses will be offered,” said the source, quoting the minutes of the meeting. The PM’s adviser issued instructions to provide facilities and incentives to Pakistanis abroad.

It was decided in the meeting that the performance of the consulates would also be monitored closely.

The series of consultations to bring reforms in the foreign ministry would continue and a report would be compiled on a monthly basis, the sources added.

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