Hazards of a loudmouthed Foreign Minister

  • COAS has to attend to foreign affairs

This is happening again and again and this does not help the country. What’s more, it reflects badly on the party running the country.

The PTI has collected a rare variety of spoilers who lack diplomatic niceties and create problems for the country. What is more, they create a highly negative perception about politicians.

Soon after the PTI came to power, PM Imran Khan’s Adviser on Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, acted like a loose gun. He told The Financial Times that Pakistan was rethinking its role in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road plan. He was also quoted as saying that in the case of CPEC Pakistan “should put everything on hold for a year so we can get our act together.” The stand was unexpected as Pakistan and China were already working together on CPEC which benefitted both, particularly Pakistan. In China, Mr Khan was known at the time as a man whose Islamabad sit-in led to the cancellation of President Xi’s scheduled visit to Pakistan.

The grave mistrust in China led Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to undertake a trip to Beijing where he met President Xi and assured him that the Pakistani side resolutely supported the Belt and Road Initiative and Pakistan always placed relations with China at a primary strategic position and always sided with China on issues involving each other’s core interests.

This time Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi has acted as a spoiler in the country’s relations with Saudi Arabia, one of Pakistan’s oldest allies and supporters. Mr Qureshi acted as man who has no sense of diplomatic niceties. He asked the Saudi Arabia-led OIC to stop “dilly-dallying” on the convening of a meeting of its Council of Foreign Ministers on Kashmir. He also said Pakistan could not wait any further. Didn’t Mr Qureshi know that Riyadh is yet to respond to Pakistan’s request to extend the oil credit facility? Couldn’t the PM stop Mr Qureshi from proceeding to China now?

Four days back the Saudi ambassador called on General Bajwa to discuss matters of mutual interest, the regional security situation and bilateral defence relations between the two countries. This was understandable as after the PTI coming to power, more foreign dignitaries and ambassadors call on the COAS than the PM. The COAS will now try to undo the mischief caused by the Foreign Minister.


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