The interior ministry has prepared a report on the poor performance of Pakistan’s foreign missions in protecting the dignity and rights’ of Pakistani citizens abroad. The report will soon be sent to the prime minister.
This was announced on Saturday by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, without naming any specific missions abroad. An official, however, told The Express Tribune that most of these Pakistani missions were based in the European Union.
Pakistan suspends deportation accords
The development follows the recent suspension of deportation agreements with all European countries, except Britain, over accusations of mistreatment of Pakistani migrants. Nisar alleged the readmission agreement for deportees was apparently tilted against Pakistan.
In a news conference on Friday and subsequently in a statement issued on Saturday, the security czar said he would take up all these concerns during an upcoming meeting with a visiting EU delegation headed by EU immigration commissioner.
A new standard operating procedure is being developed for the acceptance of deportees from European countries. The interior minister stated he would raise his voice and take all possible steps whenever fundamental rights of Pakistanis were violated.
Re-admission agreements suspended with Western countries: Nisar
Regretting the arrival of another batch of deportees from Greece through a normal flight, he said a reference would be sent to penalise the Middle Eastern airline, which brought the migrants back.
Nisar said all airlines flying back deportees without the interior ministry’s approval would be fined in the future. He also directed the Federal Investigation Agency to strictly monitor airports across the country and keep an eye on passengers coming from Greece.
Of the 19 ‘politically appointed’ ambassadors of Pakistan in different countries, more than half (10) are former military officers, official records reveal.
In a reply submitted in the National Assembly, the Foreign Office has disclosed that the government has appointed three retired foreign services officers as envoys and six party supporters or bureaucrats as ambassadors to the countries of their choice. All these appointments are contract-based.
With Zambia: Visa free entry agreement suspended
The answer was submitted in response to a question raised by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Shireen Mazari. She had asked the FO about the total number of non-foreign services personnel serving as Pakistani envoys and the total number of ‘political appointees’, and retired civil and military bureaucrats.
An FO official, however, defended the government’s move. “Although political appointments on ambassadorial positions are common in many countries, they [envoys] are usually big donors or supporters of the ruling parties,” he claimed. “In the US, financiers of presidential campaigns often get appointments to less important but scenic countries.”
In Pakistan, however, political appointees are usually ex-military officers, he admitted.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2015.
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