‘FM’s visit to Iran, KSA ill-conceived’

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ISLAMABAD: Former High Commissioner of Pakistan to India, Ambassador (Retd.) Abdul Basit on Monday said that in the current scenario, Pakistan’s diplomatic moves, and position seems lacking tactical clarity, strategic vision, and capacity. He said that amidst Middle East crisis, the recent visits of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to Iran and Saudi Arabia were ill-conceived and ill-prepared, knowing the fact that the situation in ME wouldn’t be escalating and the country has very little leverage to play any significant role. These remarks were made by him during a special seminar titled “Changing Global Power Dynamics: Policy options for Pakistan” organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad. Abdul Basit said that the diplomacy is art of agreeing on the feasible in order to advance the desirable. However, unfortunately, in the case of Pakistan, there is a lack of any amelioration on diplomatic front, as our foreign missions are not equipped and trained enough to fight the case of the country effectively and promoting the country’s narrative and positive image abroad. He said that almost every government in the country could not put much sense on hardcore diplomacy, which reflects that how we have been dealing with CPEC and Kashmir issues etc. “Owing to the current tension between Tehran and Washington, and Pakistan’s ill-prepared diplomacy to play the role of mediation in order to de-escalate the situation in ME, the issue of Kashmir has been put on the back burner”, said former High Commissioner adding there is hardly any emphasis on the economic-diplomacy of our foreign office to resolve our own grave issues and challenges instead of others. Basit observed that Pakistan’s foreign policy still lacks clarity, as we always waiting for miracles to happen. He urged the government to be more realistic on diplomatic fronts and focused on improving domestic governance.